Tennessee Tech University’s School of Art, Craft & Design Celebrates Craft!

By Krishna Adams, Director of Visual Arts, Craft, Media and Design –

Tennessee Tech School of Music bluegrass band (Photo/Appalachian Center for Craft)

Tennessee Tech University’s School of Art, Craft & Design hosted the 26th annual Celebration of Craft at the Appalachian Center for Craft in Smithville on Saturday, April 6. While walking from the parking lot on this sunny afternoon, I was met with the harmonious picking and plucking sounds floating in the breeze from the Tennessee Tech School of Music’s bluegrass band, which continued to build my anticipation.

Upon reaching the grounds, I was enthusiastically greeted with a smile and handed a map of the day’s events. As I wove through campus, I followed visitors in and out of multiple studios to view demonstrations in blacksmithing, metals, flameworking glass, clay raku firing, woodturning, and loom weaving, all from faculty, artists in residence, and students.

Blue bird box building presented by the Army Corps of Engineers (Photo/Appalachian Center for Craft)

Hands-on takeaway craft activities were provided for the youth and a few young at heart by students studying art education. A special Build a Blue Bird house activity presented by the Army Corps of Engineers was particularly popular.

An event of this size would not be complete without the sweet and salty aroma of kettle corn in the air, and the Celebration of Craft did not disappoint. Other treats included sausage, sandwiches, pork rinds, tacos, and more from Country Boys Gourmet, Travelin Tom’s, Habibi’s Mexican Kitchen, and BUNZ on the RUN.

Student CJ Hunter wood turning a bowl (Photo/Appalachian Center for Craft)

Handcrafted items were also available for purchase in the Craft Center Gallery, and a secondary area was open for students to show and sell their work. The free event attracted around 1,200 visitors for a fun and educational day, and I’m looking forward to bringing a few friends with me next year.

The Appalachian Center for Craft has received Arts Build Communities, Arts Education Community Learning, and Rural Arts Project Support grants from the Tennessee Arts Commission. For more information about the Appalachian Center for Craft, you may contact or 931-372-3051.