Saturday, August 3, 2013

Arrowmont Summer 2013: The End

Today I left Arrowmont. It was bittersweet. When I was away from home, I miss my dog, my bed and my studio. However, I am really going to miss Arrowmont's artistic community. I am going to miss meals while discussing artwork with fellow crafters and artists. I am going to miss listening to Charles Gandy's wonderful tales of travel. This trip has made it very clear to me, that the arts and crafts community is very strong. I would even go as far to say that it is stronger than the fine arts community. There's just a sense of needing to share information and knowledge in the craft community that is lacking in the fine arts community, which maybe a result of fine art's competitive nature. But overall, It was such an amazing experience and definitely makes me want to keep an eye out on other workshop venues for future classes. Though I may already have an BFA, there is no need to ever stop learning new craft techniques.

As I drove home I took some travel photos of the Smokey Mountain area. I wish I could have gotten some photos of the Pigeon Forge area, a very odd touristy area that has attractions geared towards families, but the traffic was a little too heavy this morning for me to get any. You will just have to take my word for it, that Pigeon Forge is visually stimulating and a curious place.
Leaving Arrowmont

"On the road again!"
While driving along the long I-24 through Tennessee to Kentucky, you can't help but notice all the obnoxious billboards! There was one billboard that kept catching my eye, and it was a billboard for The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky. Needing a break to walk around and stretch I decided that this museum would be a perfect spot!
The National Quilt Museum!
The museum is housed in a simple brick building. Admission was $11 and I was free to roam. The exhibitions that were up, besides the selection from their wonderful permanent quilts collection, was the 11th Quilt Japan display and the Civil War Period Quilts display. The permanent National Quilt museum collection includes 50-60 contemporary and traditional quilts using both hand and machine processes.
A panoramic view of The National Quilt Museum Collection from the website.
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The 11th Quilt Japan exhibit displayed highlights from the 11th Quilt Japan competition. This contest gives the viewer a glimpse into how Japan and the surrounding countries have taken the tradition of quilting, and put their own spin on it.
A view from the 11th Quilt Japan display at the National Quilt museum from the website {link to}
The exhibition From the Pieces of a Nation: Civil War Period Quilts was a wonderful mixture of classic quilts that displayed the essence of quilt making during a time when the country was torn apart. Wedding quilts and friendship quilts were all apart of the exhibit, showing the strong bond that these pieces formed among family and friends, during such a turbulent stage in american history. It was impressive how many of the quilts in this display contained the colors turkey red, white, green, gold and madder brown. It seems that these colors must have been the most easily accessible during this time. I would really like to research quilting tradition a bit more eventually. The whole Idea of quilts has always been fascinating to be, but never have I realized how much history a quilt can reflect till I saw this exhibit. A trip to the library is in order, now that I am home! Overall, the spontaneous trip to the National Quilt Museum was incredible inspiring.
A postcard I took with me from the museum displaying some of the Civil War
period quilts.
Once I left Paducah, Kentucky I drove...forever! I did get a chance to take a quick photo of the St. Louis Arch though as I passed through the city.
I probably shouldn't have been driving and taking photos...
Now that I am home I have to return to the real world. My job at Starbucks awaits me, as does the other million different things I take for granted not doing while on vacation! However, this trip to Arrowmont has completely influenced me to keep exploring knitting, innovating new knitted accessories and to keep learning new craft skills, even if it is hard after a 7 hour shift.


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