Tennessee Craft Invites Emerging Artists to Apply for the 2019-2020 Master Artist/Apprentice Program

From Laurie Davis, TN Craft –

Tennessee Craft, in partnership with the Tennessee Arts Commission, announces the opening of the 2020 Master Artist/Apprentice Program (MAAP) application process. This mentoring program offers emerging artists a unique opportunity to learn traditional and contemporary craft skills firsthand from master craft artists.

All artists in the program choose challenging goals that will advance their skills and knowledge as craft artists. The MAAP was created to boost artists to the next level of their professional development during an intensive six-month one-on-one mentorship, not typically available in most learning environments. Blaque Reily, a jewelry artist from Nashville, was paired as an apprentice with Master Jeweler Renee Ford of Franklin during the 2019 MAAP program. Blaque shares, “Having an open line to a master in my craft over a period of six months was really the gem of this apprenticeship. It is rare for a newer craftsperson to have timely access to a seasoned professional’s wealth of knowledge, which is compounded by the fact that this is often sensitive or proprietary information that people are less willing to share. The MAAP program and Renee’s mentorship have broadened my horizons in terms of what is technically possible, and how I might go about it.”

Meet the 2020 Master Artists:

Rick Cannon (wood) – Memphis
Rick Cannon is an accomplished woodturner who works with local or imported woods and sometimes bone or antler. Rick has won merit awards at the Pink Palace Arts in the Park and participated in the Best of Tennessee Craft Exhibition twice. His work is in a permanent collection of the Tennessee State Museum, and he has demonstrated with the River Arts Association for five years to promote the craft of woodturning.

Carrie Anne Parks (clay) – Chattanooga
Carrie Anne’s figurative drawings and ceramic sculptures are exhibited nationally and have been included in numerous books on contemporary ceramics. A National Endowment for the Arts Regional Visual Arts Fellowship in 1994 allowed her to study architectural tile work and sculpture in Italy. Recently, her work has won awards in the Cheongju International Craft Competition in Cheongju, Korea and the Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition in Peoria, IL.

Rena Wood (fiber/textile) – Cookeville and Smithville
She is an Assistant Professor of Fiber Art at Tennessee Tech University and the Appalachian Center for Craft in Cookeville, TN. As a Fiber Arts educator, she has taught workshops on embroidery and fiber processes at art centers and craft schools throughout the country. Rena has been an Artist in Residence at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft in Houston, TX; Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN; and at the Craft Alliance in St. Louis, MO.

To read the full bios of the 2020 Master Artists, visit

Awarded apprentices receive a $1,800 stipend to work with their chosen master from December 1, 2019, to June 15, 2020.

For more information, email Deadline for apprentice applications is November 1, 2019