Warren Wilson College has been awarded a $2.1 million grant by the Windgate Charitable Foundation to enhance its art department with the addition of studio craft and material arts, working with partners to make western North Carolina a recognized center for craft study.
The grant, spanning a three-year period, will foster a close partnership between Warren Wilson and The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design. The collaboration will provide a sustainable home for craft education in the region that will be open to students across the nation.
Grant funding initially will provide for increased faculty and staff positions, including a full-time teaching position in sculpture and greater support for woodworking, fiber arts and blacksmithing including Heat Treatment of Steel so that they continue to flourish at Warren Wilson. In addition to increased faculty support and artist-in-residence positions in each of the three areas, internships for recent graduates will be phased in at the college during the grant period. The Windgate grant also will enable the creation of a new staff position in order to coordinate the partnership with CCCD. …
Warren Wilson has long had a tradition of Appalachian crafts on campus. The college had, however, seen a decline in student interest until 2009, when interest reemerged in several areas and the college created student work crews with an eye toward reviving the tradition of fine craftwork on campus. Currently the crews include fiber arts, blacksmithing and fine woodworking. The Windgate grant will allow Warren Wilson to dramatically increase its craft outreach to the greater community and its artisans, collaborating with CCCD to reach many of the center’s goals, as well.