Sunday, June 24, 2012

And so it begins today at Arrowmont

I got here too late yesterday to unload the car into the studio so I did that this morning.  I left home about 1 p.m. but the drive up was slower than usual because of tourist traffic throughout the mountains of Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.  It was a beautiful Saturday and it seemed like everyone was out and about to enjoy it.

So here's downtown Gatlinburg as I arrived... I've been here many times but I'm sure to some it must be quite a culture shock to see this and then to see Arrowmont's campus.  One might read about the wonderful craft school on the school's website or get one of the beautiful catalogs and not know that Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a hot tourist destination in the Southeast, complete with Ripley's Believe It or Not and Hard Rock Cafe, aquarium and water park, among hundreds of other "must-sees"!  And thousands of people cruising the strip in all modes of transportation, including their own feet, to take it all in.  It can take a motorist on a mission (like me) 15 to 30 minutes to get only a few block along--and the Arrowmont entrance is about at the mid-point of all this action; don't know how many blocks but do almost know how many cars, motorcycles and pedestrians to that point--at least those I waited through yesterday!  And, yes, in Gatlinburg, pedestrians have the right of way at the multiple cross-walks.

At last, around 11 this morning I was able to get into the studio and also get the car unloaded, with very kind help of another of the instructors.

After several hours of sorting, arranging and dragging tables around and about, here's the way the room looked as the students arrived this evening (although most had been in the room before our "official" meeting time following the group's orientation in the auditorium.)  One of the studio assistants made hooks so I could hang examples in the panels at the end of the room.  He's a young man who's working on an art degree with emphasis in sculpture... he jokingly told me that each hook he was making was a one-of-a-kind and would be only $5 each.  

The examples hanging include my work with tapestry diary process, as well as a few other small tapestry pieces.  And I brought four of the treasured tapestries in my collection from other artists:  Susan Martin Maffei, Pat Williams, and two anonymous tapestries bands from Central America.  Those are all hanging on the right side panel, along with two Exquisite Corpse pieces done at the Penland Concentration in 2011 by eight people.

We stayed in the studio until around 9:30 tonight and will begin tomorrow morning, nicely rested and ready to warp looms and set for good work in the week to come! I'll share our journey as the week goes along.

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