Arrowmont raises $100,000, names new Executive Director
July 03, 2011GATLINBURG, TN – The Board of Governors of Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts have selected Bill May as the organization's Executive Director. May has served as Arrowmont's Interim Executive Director since December 2010.
May has a long association with Arrowmont. While learning the craft of stained glass, May pursued studies in drawing, sculpture and stained glass design. Classes taken at Arrowmont were important in his artistic development. Later, May joined the school as an instructor in stained glass. In 2009 he joined the School's Board of Governors, and was chosen as Arrowmont's Interim Executive Director after the departure of David Willard in December 2010. Since that time, he has been responsible for the day-to-day management of the School's programming and operations.
Board President Geoffrey Wolpert made the announcement at the inaugural Arrowmont Art & Wine Auction, which was held Friday, June 17 and netted more than $100,000 to benefit the ongoing operations of the School.
Wolpert cited May's history with and deep understanding of the School as factors in the Board's decision to offer him the position. "Bill May is perfect for this job. He has the right experience as an educator and practicing artist. He has taught at Arrowmont, his children and wife have participated in numerous classes, and he has even served as a board member. He is proven and well liked by the leadership in the area through his years of positive community work. We could not have anyone better."
"It is an honor to have the opportunity to lead an organization that has been so influential in my own life and career," said May. "I am pleased to be working with a capable and experienced staff and a committed Board of Governors."
Bill Griffith, who has served as Arrowmont's Director of Programs since 1987, expressed his support for the selection of May as Executive Director. "Bill May's professional and personal relationship as an artist and leader is highly respected. He has established solid trust within the Arrowmont staff and will provide the necessary enthusiasm and leadership to move Arrowmont forward during this transformative time."
Longtime instructor David Ellsworth was pleased with the Board's decision. "Bill and I have had the opportunity to exchange ideas about the history of the School and the potential for its future. I found him to be a very good communicator with sound ideas and a realistic understanding of Arrowmont's needs through his own insight and personal history as a past student."
"Arrowmont has a legacy as a transformative institution," May noted. "The School will continue being a leader in art and craft education and in keeping the art of the handmade alive and relevant."
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts is a nationally renowned arts center that offers an artist in residence program and one, two-week and weekend workshops in ceramics, fiber, metals, glass, painting, mixed media, and woodworking for the beginner to advanced artist. Students learn in professionally equipped studios on a 14-acre residential campus in Gatlinburg, TN. Five galleries, an art supply store, and artist resource center are open to visitors year round. For more information about Arrowmont's programs, visit www.arrowmont.org or call (865) 436-5860.