Arts Build Communities, a program funded by the Tennessee General Assembly and administered in cooperation with the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Arts and Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville, awarded the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau (SMCVB), a $1,000 grant, which will be used for the Smoky Mountain Pottery Festival on June 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Townsend Visitor’s Center.
It is hosted by the Blount County Chamber of Commerce and the SMCVB. The festival is designed to showcase the fine pottery available in East Tennessee and the Smoky Mountain area, as well as to educate young people and the public about pottery. It will bring together potters from around the region to exhibit, sell, and demonstrate their craft.
“This grant will help kick-off another great event that is intended to educate our community and visitors about the culture and artistry of the Smoky Mountains,” said Herb Handly, executive vice president of tourism for the SMCVB. “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the pottery committee, which is helping us create the event, and this grant, the pottery festival is sure to be a huge success.”
The Smoky Mountain Pottery Festival will include demonstration areas for throwing and hand building, Raku firing, a children’s tent and educational programs. Hugh Bailey is the featured guest potter, and the grant will support his participation in the event.
Bailey is a member of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild, the Foothills Craft Guild, and the Knoxville Watercolor Society. He worked for 41 years as graphic designer for the University of Tennessee publications department, and has been a potter for 50 years, making unique animals and fanciful creatures.
For more information on the Pottery Festival, call the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at 1-800-525-6834 or 865-448-6134 or visit www.smokymountains.org.