Classes at the John C. Campbell Folk School begin with check-in, orientation, welcome dinner, and then a week or weekend packed full of class time. From morning til night we think craft, whether it be music, dance or art. While in studios, students try to let go of the outside world with it’s distractions and complications. It’s a revelation when brows finally unfurrow and true creative relaxation sets in.
Even though studios are open to visitors to wander in and take a look, it’s still difficult to get a sense of all that is happening on campus until Show-and-Tell at the end of the week.
The closing ceremony is about many things. It’s a time to wonder at the work that has been created in such a short amount of time. It’s a chance to ask questions about other art mediums. The students can now answer questions, when days before only the instructors knew it all. It’s also about sharing. It’s okay to be happy about what you’ve produced and say, “Yes. I made that. In one week I made something that never before existed. And it’s one-of-a-kind.” Most of all, it’s about catching a glimpse of the experiences had by everyone during the week before saying goodbye to the Folk School until next time.
Show-and-Tell closes each class session. Students, instructors and community members mill around the Community Room in the Keith House.
At each table a small world is on display. The woodturners show the delicate ornaments that hang from an iron table stand. The weavers show their lace weaving samples. Looking at a hand-stitched quilt one can imagine themself curled up under it with a cup of tea, a book, and a kitty cat. Then the stained glass windows catch your attention as the setting sunlight shines through them.
You smile at the hand carved Santa Clauses displayed on the next table down.
The next table over, the photography class displays shots of campus, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the surrounding area. A photo of orange leaves in a white river reminds you of the patterns found in the stained glass window panes and the colors in the quilt tops. All the while, cooking students hand out samples of their tasty fare and hopefully the music instructor convinced their class to play a few tunes, in defiance of stage fright.
At the end of it all, the instructors say a few final words while students sit surrounded by their creations.