Folk Art Center host exhibit of works by graduates of Haywood Community College’s Professional Crafts Program

Photo courtesy of the Folk Art Center

Press release from the Folk Art Center:

This Saturday, May 12, the Folk Art Center will host 17 graduates of Haywood Community College’s Professional Crafts Program 2018 for an opening reception. The 31-piece exhibit opened on May 5 and is showing in the Main Gallery on the second floor until June 24. The show continues the historical relationship between the Southern Highland Craft Guild and Haywood, an educational center member of the Guild.

One of the most anticipated shows of the year, the class of 2018 represents works from clay, fiber, jewelry and wood mediums. This new generation of craft is lead by instructors Amy Putansu in fiber, Brian Wurst in wood, Emily Reason in clay, and Robert Blanton in metals & jewlery. The reception is open to the general public as it will allow visitors to meet these graduates in-person and learn about the craft techniques they are using to elevate the industry as the new generation.

The main gallery of the Folk Art Center is adorned with hanging tapestries, pierced and soldered jewelry, sgraffito dinnerware, and wooden furniture, soon to be heirlooms for one’s home. Students of the Haywood program come from all over, with or without prior experience of craft, and sometimes pursuing it as a second or third career. The course of study is challenging, combining craft concentrations with supplemental classes in design, drawing, craft history, business, marketing and photography.

Haywood Community College and the Southern Highland Craft Guild share a history that documents the role of craft education in preserving traditional culture, creating economic opportunity and fostering professional practice. All of the artists represent the vitality and creativity of craft practice today, which is the ultimate purpose of both institutions.

Many Haywood graduates have become individual members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and have served the Guild in various capacities. Instructor Brian Wurst of the Professional Crafts Wood program says, “Our students benefit so much from the opportunities that the Guild offers its education partners, and we in turn are thrilled when they grow into active participants themselves and continue that tradition of giving back. The Graduate Show spotlights the program’s best work, and it’s a delight to see it so well displayed and in such a beautiful venue as the Folk Art Center.”

Haywood Community College is located in Clyde, North Carolina, just west of Asheville. The college’s Professional Crafts Program began in recognition of the region’s strong craft heritage. It was envisioned that students would learn the basics of craft media and how to transform that craft into a business. The clay studio was the first to open in 1974. With the addition of jewelry, wood and fiber studios, a comprehensive curriculum was in place by 1977.

The Haywood Community College Professional Crafts Program, Graduate Show, Class of 2018 is a free exhibit at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway in East Asheville. For more information, visit or call 828-298-7928. For more information about the Professional Crafts Program, call 828-627-4674 or visit

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