SMFAF: Festival Press Release

Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival, April 11-12, 2014 Townsend, Tennessee

Come join the Townsend Artisan Guild and the Tennessee Valley Handspinners at the Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival at the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center in Townsend, Tennessee.

It is free to the public.

Explore and learn about the “sheep to shawl” process including carding, spinning, dyeing, weaving, felting, knitting and crochet. Enjoy animal and fiber art demonstrations and classes. Shop in a marketplace for fiber art supplies and finished goods.

Geri Forkner will be our featured artist and lead instructor. She will be offering four different classes from beginning nuno felting to emerging electrified fiber arts. She cherishes traditions and skills while continually innovating and using unique materials to create show-stopping art pieces. Geri graduated from the University of Tennessee and studied weaving at Georgia State University. Today, she creates felted and woven fiber art from her studio in Sweetwater, Tennessee. She teaches both children and adults and has taught at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, John C. Campbell Folk School, various elementary and high schools, and other festivals and events internationally, nationally, and regionally. The Tennessee Arts Commission has certified Geri as an Artist in Residence, a professional artist-educator. To learn more about Geri’s latest projects, check out her website.

A special exhibit of Betsy Worden’s Fiber Art, from the private collection of Stuart Worden, will be displayed for the first time in a public setting. The late Betsy Worden was an artist, teacher, and Knoxville civic leader, perhaps best known for her works in watercolor and weaving, and she contributed greatly to Knoxville’s visual arts community in numerous ways throughout her life. She received her BA in Fine Arts from the University of Tennessee and did post-graduate studies at the Atlanta School of the Art, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and the University of Tennessee. A painter, tapestry weaver, and printmaker, she was a longtime instructor at Arrowmont in Gatlinburg, and she taught watercolor classes for the Knoxville Museum of Art. A leader in the Knoxville arts community, Worden served on the boards of many arts organizations, including the Arts and Culture Alliance and the Art Market Gallery, which she co-founded. She also co-founded the Community School of the Arts in Knoxville. She actively participated in the Knoxville Watercolor Society, the Tennessee Watercolor Society, the Art and Antiques Gallery, Southern Highland Craft Guild, the Foothills Craft Guild, and Tennessee Women in the Arts.

Class registration is now available on

For more information: or email the Townsend Artisan Guild.


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