Tennessee Craft, in partnership with the Tennessee Arts Commission, announces the Master Artist/Apprentice Program pairings for 2020. Carrie Anne Parks of Chattanooga will mentor Catherine Norell of Winchester in clay.
The mission of the MAAP is to encourage and invest in the continuation, advancement, and creation of Tennessee craft by recognizing the value of the master craft artist and apprentice relationship as a way to preserve the state’s cultural heritage.
"The Master Artist/Apprentice Program provides a wonderful professional opportunity on an annual basis for three emerging artists to refine their work under the concentrated guidance of seasoned professional artists," said Tennessee Craft Executive Director Jennifer Justice. “It is exciting to see the beautiful growth and relationships that evolve from artists working closely together. Every year new professional artists and apprentices are selected in diverse media. The program, coordinated in concert with the Tennessee Arts Commission, culminates in a vibrant exhibition at the Commission’s gallery.”
The other 2020 apprentices selected are WOOD: William "Bill" Bleau (Arlington), mentored by Master Rick Cannon (Memphis); and FIBER/TEXTILE: Mirrah Johnson (Silver Point), mentored by Master Rena Wood (Smithville/Cookeville).
Ms. Johnson applied to MAAP because she wants to learn how to create an intricately embroidered piece. She said, “I want to understand the subtleties in embroidery that I would not necessarily pick up if I tried to learn on my own. For example, finding the appropriate tension of the fabric, learning how to use different types of thread, and the best ways to hold my hands, among other things that Rena, a master fiber artist, can teach me.”
The partnership between Tennessee Craft and the Tennessee Arts Commission provides Tennessee artists with relevant and alternative educational experiences, promotes and facilitates fine craft as a viable career path for Tennessee artists, fosters deliberate mentoring, and creates professional development opportunities for emerging Tennessee craft artists.