Graduating Class of 2022 of Haywood Community College’s Professional Crafts Program
May 21 - September 7
The Southern Highland Craft Guild opened its Main Gallery exhibition at the Folk Art Center showcasing the Graduating Class of 2022 of Haywood Community College’s Professional Crafts Program on May 21st. Located on the second floor until September 7th, the show continues the historical relationship between the Southern Highland Craft Guild and Haywood, an educational center of the Guild. One of the most anticipated shows of the year, the class of 2022 represents works of wood, metal, and fiber. This new generation of craft is lead by instructors Amy Putansu in fiber, Brian Wurst in wood, Emily Reason in clay, and Robert Blanton in metals & jewelry. The main gallery of the Folk Art Center is adorned with hanging tapestries and woven totes, pierced and soldered jewelry, and wooden furniture, soon to be heirlooms for one’s home.
Students of the Haywood program come from all over, with or without prior experience of craft, and sometimes pursuing it as a second or third career. The course of study is challenging, combining craft concentrations with supplemental classes in design, drawing, craft history, business, marketing and photography. Haywood Community College and the Southern Highland Craft Guild share a history that documents the role of craft education in preserving traditional culture, creating economic opportunity and fostering professional practice. All of the artists represent the vitality and creativity of craft practice today, which is the ultimate purpose of both institutions. Many Haywood graduates have become individual members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and have served the Guild in various capacities.
Instructor Brian Wurst of the Professional Crafts Wood program says, “Our programs have thrived for nearly five decades, and our relationship with the Craft Guild has been a key part of that. We’re always thrilled to have work showcased at the Folk Art Center, and in turn scores of our alumni have gone on to become active Guild members. The Graduate Show is the capstone of two hard years by these students, and it’s a delight to share it in this beautiful space.”
Haywood Community College is located in Clyde, North Carolina, just west of Asheville. The college’s Professional Crafts Program began in recognition of the region’s strong craft heritage. It was envisioned that students would learn the basics of craft media and how to transform that craft into a business. The clay studio was the first to open in 1974. With the addition of jewelry, wood and fiber studios, a comprehensive curriculum was in place by 1977. The Haywood Community College Professional Crafts Program, Graduate Show, Class of 2022 is a free exhibit at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway in East Asheville. For more information, visit www.craftguild.org or call 828-298-7928. For more information about the Professional Crafts Program, call 828-627-4674 or visit creativearts.haywood.edu.