Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Arrowmont Recap Pt. 1

Remember when I said last week I was going to be back to blogging more regularly? Well, I'm not doing a very good job, am I? Turns out settling into someone eles's house and studio, even in a town I know, was more stressful than I anticipated. Also, all my friends here are either still in school, or work at ECU. I'm well on my way to becoming a semi-professional house sitter. Which seems like a fantastic use of my education. I suppose I'm feeling a little post-partum depression with having finally finished school.

Anyways, I thought I'd blog a little more about my Arrowmont experience, even though it seems so far away now. I was there for six weeks, three weeks of work followed by three weeks of class. It was really great, but really intense and exhausting. Especially when your roommate's alarms start going off at 5:45 in the morning.
I got to meet an incredible group of people, and we did manage to have some fun when we were off duty. If you haven't been to Gatlinburg, TN, it's rather hard to describe. Arrowmont is this little secluded bubble of art and creativity up on a hill overlooking "The Strip". The Strip is a non-stop neon carnival that caters to tourists. You can find a variety of min golf, old time photos, and air brush T-shirt establishments, wedding chapels, arcades and anything deep fried. Seriously, the whole town smells like hamburgers. The strip is fun in small doses, great for people watching. We would venture out occasionally for Tuesday night karaoke and $1 beers. My favorite place was of course The Doughnut Friar. Best doughnuts ever, and a 3 minute walk from A-mont.

This is Pollard dorm where we (when I say "we" I mean the other studio assistants and work studies, occasionally joined by the fantastic Artists in Residence, or students from the workshops) spent most of our time hanging out on the porch and drinking beer. I'm not gonna lie. I drank a lot of beer at Arrowmont.
Arromont has the most amazing little library. This is just right outside, where you could actually get Wi-Fi. I loved this spot because of the geraniums, and other flowers. The whole Arrowmont campus is just so beautiful.

I also loved this spot because of this view:

I'm an ocean girl through and through, but by the end of my 6 weeks, I really began to fall in love with the mountains. If you went out past The Strip you wound up in the Smokey Mountain National Forest, only about a mile away. I loved the forest and I really wish I would have spent more time there. A big part of Arrowmont culture is the Swimming Hole, up in the forest. The swimming hole is pretty, and had some cool rocks, but overall, not my favorite. I'm not really into cold water, and both places I went swimming at Peter's Valley I liked a lot better.

But I also hated "Taco Day", so what do I know?

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