GATLINBURG, Tenn.:In a historic decision, the Board of Governors of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts has voted to keep the nationally renowned center for contemporary craft education at its current location in Gatlinburg.
Over the past two years the organization has been considering options for the future following a decision by the owners of the land to sell the property currently occupied by the school. A special task force was formed to evaluate options and possible new locations for the school and through their work the choices were narrowed to a site in Greeneville, Tenn. or remaining in the current Gatlinburg location. Since then, the Arrowmont Board has been working with officials from Gatlinburg and Greeneville to finalize proposals presented by both communities.
In making the announcement, Arrowmont Board of Governors President Mary Ann Hruska said, "After reviewing the proposals from Greeneville and Gatlinburg as well as numerous meetings with local officials, the Board decided that Arrowmont should remain in its place of founding. We look forward to working more closely with the local community regarding our future."
The Gatlinburg community effort to retain Arrowmont was led by Mayor Jerry Hays and City Manager, Cindy Ogle.
"I am extremely pleased with this decision to keep Arrowmont in Gatlinburg. I want to especially thank the Gatlinburg Arrowmont Work Group for their dedication during this process. A lot of hard work has gone into preparing for this day by representatives of the City, Sevier County, Sevier County School System, the Chamber of Commerce, and private citizens. From here, it is my hope that we can sit down together and map out how we will achieve the goals and dreams for Arrowmont's future," states Hays.
"This decision ensures that the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts will continue to be a leader in contemporary studio craft for many years to come," said Hruska. "Arrowmont provides the best in craft education in new and exciting ways while furthering our mission of enriching lives through art."
A nationally renowned arts center, Arrowmont offered its first craft workshops in 1945. Today Arrowmont offers an artist in residence program and one, two-week and weekend workshops in ceramics, fiber, metals, glass, painting, mixed media, and woodworking for the beginner to advanced artist. Students learn in professionally equipped studios on a 14-acre residential campus in Gatlinburg. Five galleries, an art supply store, and artist resource center are open visitors year round.
Arrowmont's Strategic Planning Committee, along with the Gatlinburg Work Group, will immediately begin determining next steps, including the orchestration of a capital campaign for funds to support the School's future and exploring community partnership opportunities. The School's on-going fundraising continues through the Friends of Arrowmont Fund.
For more information about Arrowmont's programs, visit www.arrowmont.org or call (865) 436-5860.