. . . the Final Four descended upon Atlanta, and we ran to the hills of Tennessee. It is there, within the creative environment of the Appalachian Center for Craft, resting high upon a hill majestically overlooking the surrounding lake, we were invited for Celebration.
The Center, a satellite campus of Tennessee Tech, opened the doors of the studios they call home and invited the world inside. All who came were gifted the most gorgeous of days and sincerest hospitality.
Focused upon the craft of clay, fibers, glass, metals, and wood, the ACC has a magical environment that magnifies the imagination. As an artist and painter, I was honored to have the opportunity to cross the bridge between Art and Craft and share a moment of creation and stories.
Throughout the day, I was mesmerized at the many hundreds, maybe even a thousand guests who made the pilgrimage to this sanctuary for creativity. Great food, pleasantries, and music danced about as the many students proud to exhibit the fruits of their labors entwined with alumni, supporters, and friends of the Appalachian Center for Craft who came to share this day.
It was in the Gallery I set up my easels to share my story with all the friendly faces and hear many a creator’s journey, sometimes going deep, sometimes just playful. Either way, the day expanded upon this wonderful new Universe I found myself exploring.
It is adventures such as this that I truly enjoy: to travel and swap tales with those upon similar missions. We all find something deep within our work, with the practice we develop as the portal to see into our imaginations. To teach is to understand that we are just learning how to be students, learning what we most need in our present moments, what we most need to get through our days, what we most yearn for like the nomad coming upon the oasis out of the desert.
It was a breath of fresh air on so many levels to see a place so dedicated to the craft of their students and students so dedicated to their practice and school. It’s all about the Art, and that is all I can ever hope for. I am inspired, and as an artist trying to survive, my tanks are now refueled.
Thank you so much to the student body and faculty at the Appalachian Center for Craft, and a special thank you to Gail and Kate for offering me such a wonderful opportunity to Celebrate what you Create . . .
. . . of course, on the way home, we had to stop and have a little more fun!
To all my new friends up in Tennessee at the Appalachian Center for Craft . . .
Shine On You Crazy Diamonds,