If I had to describe myself with one word it would be artist - a visual artist and an artist with words. My artwork is included in Ohio Online Visual Arts Registry. I'm working with various galleries in the Midwest to promote my oil paintings and abstract light photography.

 

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Arts and Artists in Gatlinburg

Arts, Crafts, and a Yellow Trolley

 © Becky Linhardt 2010

 A ride on the Yellow Trolleys in Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a voyage of discovery, an opportunity to visit artists, craft studios, galleries, and shops on an 8-mile loop from downtown to the less hectic eastside.  Here individual artists and small craft enterprises found the space they needed to create and sell their own work.

 “We have a co-operative of six women who sell their own work, teach, and demonstrate techniques,” said Mary Louise Glass of Cliff Dwellers Gallery.  “Some artists have their studio space upstairs; some of us do some work here in the gallery.”  They have space in a historic building from the 1930’s that, like many of the artists, relocated away from downtown Gatlinburg and clustered along Glades and Buckhorn Roads off of East Parkway/US 321.

 The Yellow Trolley Route visits many artists and shops that are members of the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community.  Established in 1937, it has grown to become the largest group of independent artists and crafts people in the country.  They produce 3 free admission shows, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, at the Gatlinburg Convention Center each year.

 For those inspired to create their own works of art, Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts provides weekend and weeklong classes at its campus in downtown.  Just a half a block away from the busy Parkway, beautifully landscaped grounds contain state of the arts workshops, galleries for displaying the work of the master teachers and students, and housing for the students.

“We had one couple arrive – she was scheduled for ceramics or basket weaving,” said Kim Newman of Arrowmont.  “He figured he would just take some time to go fishing.  Then he saw a demonstration of papermaking, could relate to the blenders and measuring used to create the wet pulp.  He got so excited that he signed up for a full week course.”

 True to its beginnings as a settlement school, and to the native talents of the basket makers, weavers, and woodcarvers of the Smoky Mountains, Arrowmont has an earned an international reputation for its teachers and classes, especially those using the traditional techniques and new methods of working in basketry, woodturning, woodworking, and fibers. 

 The new “wood” pavilion studios and gallery at Arrowmont are worth the bit of time it takes to find them tucked behind the commercial strip, up on the hillside near the intersection of the Parkway and Baskins Creek Road.  Some of the skillfully turned wooden bowls I admired were paper thin, almost transparent.

 Gatlinburg information: 800-568-4748 or www.gatlinburg.com.

 Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community: www.artsandcraftscommunity.com

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        As a travel writer it is my responsibility to select the best places, events, and experiences to present to you. Most travel has been on my own though some has occurred on sponsored press trips. Travel listings here will be more informal than my published articles.

 

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