The ice cold water of the Little Pigeon river... Close your eyes and it's almost like lake Michigan.
This past weekend the lovely Mrs. Farnsworth and I drove to Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg TN to see the Annual Artists-in-Residence (AIR) Exhibition featuring the works of some dear friends. It is hard to believe that the AIR at Arrowmont have been there for almost a year- until you see the works that they have been busy producing. It was a great time to reflect not only on their growth since interviews a year ago during the end of my residency but also to reflect on my own time at Arrowmont with Phil, Chandra, and Lisa. It was surreal to walk through Pollard (the residents house) and the studios seeing things that lay where we had left them when leaving last may. A home away from home.
On the exhibitions title wall the resident artists included this curio-esk grouping of inspiring objects. I found this simple but beautiful inclusion to be very insightful, especially to viewers who would normally not have this more intimate experience. The collected objects are microcosms of the artists studio spaces, giving the viewer a point of reference to the pieces in the exhibition- something that is rarely included in exhibitions. Nice touch.
Shown here are some exquisite pieces by Ashley that deal with the intimate preservation of memory. Included in her display area were dead leaves in and amongst the pedestals and surrounding some skeletal structures of gravestones. I particularly enjoy the piece on the right in that its display also gives it a tombstone form, as is in the reflection as well. Mrs. Farnsworth and I were also quite fond of the piece on the left.
David's work included a very large installation of raw clay affixed to wire structures (wonderful and slightly unnerving to navigate through) as well as some smaller wall hung installations with more wire connective structures and raw clay. There were also some pieces that were only the structure like the piece pictured in the center titled U-Turn. If you look at the negative spaces of that piece, you can see that symbol emerge.
These handsome utilitarian ceramic pieces are the works of Jason. It has been exciting to watch his work evolve and mature over this last year. With surfaces so lush that you may even question whether they should ever leave the wall- the fine china of our generation. The surfaces are of these pieces are a delight to explore... and nearly impossible not to touch. Seeing the leaps and strides of Jason working like a freight train is always inspiring.
Also, notice the subliminal red dots on the surface of the right piece… they inspire viewers to place their own red dots next to the pieces on the wall. (SOLD!)
Jason also exhibited works on paper that included this installation of sewn and printed fabric and paper. This piece was positioned in front of an air duct that kept the pieces flags and banner (Happy Birthday Joseph) waving in anticipation. I wish that I had an image of the statement included on the adjacent wall, which was great.
These jems are the works of Heather. She has been working on some very finely crafted furniture pieces. On the left are three chair/ottoman sets- all of which have woven cord tops. I enjoy the traditional waving process with the modern pop of color. On the right is another well-crafted table with milk paint color and delicate bent laminations on the legs.
Another entery table by Heather.
And lastly, Erin's fabric and painting works. Unfortunately, as I think is common with many textile pieces, you cannot fully appreciate these works without seeing them in person. The intense amount of detail included in these pieces is missed in person to the untrained eye. Erin's work is at once both chaotic and tightly refined, deeply invested with painstaking stitching and exploration of materials and form.
And there you have it. Well done. It was nice to walk around campus while being inundated with memories from my year at the residency. There are details that only those in the group with me would find humor in, such as the binoculars still sitting on the porch waiting to spy across to the next mountain and other evidence of our time. It's always a pleasure to happen across some unexpected reminders as well.