“People are born curious and creative.”
In the past few years, Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN, has risen from the ashes (both figuratively and literally) and Director Bill May has been through it all. Creative thinking and a supportive community have been at the heart of Arrowmont, one of the world’s most admired arts & crafts schools, for over a century. We dig into what it takes to stay curious, stay creative, stay relevant, and what it really means to contribute. In other words, Bill believes we’re all born curious and creative AND we have a responsibility to use those qualities to contribute to a better community…so what will you create next?
A note from host Chris McAdoo:
What a cool interview. I’ve loved Arrowmont and it’s mission for a long time. It was AMAZING to tour the campus, see people from all over the world attending workshops ranging from metalworking to pottery and printmaking…and seeing real creative, collaborative joy on so many faces. Bill walked me through the grounds where everyone is engaged and creating – and to where buildings were taken by the recent wildfires that devastated Gatlinburg, TN. (Note – I grew up in Sevierville, right down the mountain. George grew up in Gatlinburg. These fires hit very close to home).
Bill thinks EVERYONE is born curious and creative, and it shows. His attitude towards others and towards the power of making things is rather contagious. Bill was (and is) a well-regarded glass artist (for over 30 years) before he joined Arrowmont – he attended classes, taught years later, and eventually became Executive Director. At any rate, I certainly left there with a renewed sense of creative purpose and I hope you will too.
From Arrowmont’s website:
ARROWMONT IS AN OPPORTUNITY.
In a time when many are seeking fresh ways of problemsolving, seeing differently and communicating effectively, Arrowmont offers an opportunity for people of all skill levels to spend a weekend, a week or two weeks immersed in art-making – experimenting, learning new techniques, exploring a variety of media and forms of expression – or simply taking time to be fully focused and present in a creative manner without the distractions of daily life. For some, it is the opportunity to study with leading, nationally-recognized artists who travel to the campus to teach specific workshops and serve as the School’s foundation in ensuring the highest quality of innovative instruction. For others, it is the exceptional, well-equipped studios where students can work safely and confidently in a professional-level environment. For many, it is the daily engagement among a diverse group of people from different backgrounds, coming together to learn and work in a supportive, creative environment.
The Enjoyable Listen Time podcast is hosted by Chris McAdoo and recorded/produced by George Middlebrooks. Check out our other episodes featuring Bill Foster, The Central Collective, Erin Donovan, and “Knoxville Urban Guy” Alan Sims!
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