Arrowmont experience

View from the Studio
By Wesley Hart

A recent addition to UCA’s art department are scholarships to attended Arrowmont, an Arts and Crafts school located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The application process for this scholarship is where it all began for me, a current senior in the BFA program. A thoughtful and well prepared application goes a long way! Arrowmont provides many opportunities for UCA students. You take part in studio workshops and create lasting professional connections. Both of my workshop instructors have found me on social media and shared their information for any future questions or discussions. I have even received comments on my work just by asking for feedback. Instructors are not the only people that you make connections with.

Wes Hart taking part in a wood firing workshop with Justin Rothshank at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts

Others such as artists in residence, employees from Arrowmont, work study students, graduate students, and the peers in your classes, each are worthwhile relationships and each offer different knowledge on the many questions you will have. Really, this opportunity is for expanding your art circle for after graduation. Who will you know outside of school once you get your diploma? From my personal experience forming these connections, they lead to places to stay across the states, knowledge and connections with galleries and arts organizations, and advice on how to get into other craft schools, what their applications were like, and what to expect. When choosing workshops for your application I would recommend choosing a process you are not familiar with, it is the perfect place, an encouraging environment with a professional, to grow. I chose an embroidery workshop my first week and a clay workshop the following week. This ended up being a great choice as I explored a concept across two very different mediums. My first week was spent with studio artist Joetta Maue’s.

During our “Drawing in Thread” workshop our class learned the basics of embroidery, who the contemporary embroidery artists are, and most importantly, how line influences work. Maue discussed the importance of the material she had chosen to work with as it pertained to her domestic concept. In this class we discussed craft and tradition which lead me to consider how I could transfer the idea of softness and layered images in my next workshop. The second week I took a workshop with studio potter Justin Rothshank. Rothshank’s “Decals in Atmosphere” proved to be more informative than I was expecting. Throughout the week we threw over twenty pieces, completed a ^4 soda firing, and experimented with iron oxide decals over multiple firings. Arrowmont has three galleries on campus. These include the work of the current artists in residence, the instructors for the session, and a separate collection of wood work. The campus also offers artist talks every night for instructors and studio assistants share about their work. I would highly recommend any student to apply for the Arrowmont scholarship as it was the best experience I have had within the art world.