Alexa Harding and Elizabeth Edwards were awarded scholarships this summer to the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, an internationally recognized visual art education center, located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The school provides creative experiences year-round with different workshops focused on visual arts. The experience gave Harding and Edwards a chance to expand their education and dive deeper into their art.
Both Harding and Edwards were chosen for the opportunity due to their talent and work ethic in the classroom. Russell Wrankle, assistant professor of art, helped them earn this prestigious scholarship.
“Russell Wrankle has done tremendous work to create connections and opportunities for his students,” said Harding. “He helped with fundraising, aligning scholarship opportunities through Arrowmont, and supporting us throughout the entire journey.”
“Professor Wrankle is the main reason I was able to complete this project,” said Edwards. “Because of his dedication to helping students, I was able to attend workshops that relate to my major and help me excel in my career.”
Harding, a junior ceramics major from Spanish Fork, Utah, attended a drawing class taught by Cornel Rubino, an Illustrator from The New Yorker.
“I worked with charcoal drawing on 8-foot sheets of paper stretching to the ceiling,” said Harding. “We used ladders to reach the tops and within a week completed three drawings that size. It was exhausting, but rewarding to see how much I completed in those days.
Harding appreciated being surrounded by other artists who cared about art as much as she did. She looked up to the educators there who had worldly experience. She was able to add onto her education while planning for the future.
Edwards, a senior studio arts major with an emphasis in ceramics and sculpture, attended a workshop focused on ceramic sculpture, particularly the human form.
“We built our own hands and feet out of clay, looking at reference photos and real life models,” said Edwards. “I learned a few different methods. It was nice to explore the new approach and have pieces to take back home with me.”
Edwards liked having a whole week to concentrate and discover the figures in clay, something immensely interesting to her. She was able to meet and learn from others, getting her excited for her future work.
Both Harding and Edwards reveled in their experience and hope that those after them enjoy Arrowmont as much as they did. After graduation, Harding plans to attend graduate school for ceramics while running her own business selling art. Edwards has a dream to continue practicing arts but to also teach, hoping to introduce art into the next generation.
For more information on SUU’s Art and Design program, visit their webpage.