Foothills Craft Guild is the oldest fine art craft guild in the State of Tennessee, receiving non-profit status and chartered in 1968. Originating in Oak Ridge, TN, Foothills moved to Knoxville in the mid 1990′s. Membership into the Guild is done by a jurying process twice a year, usually Spring and late Summer, by a Standards Committee (committee of peers). With acceptance into the Guild, members are committed to providing the highest level of standards in workmanship, as well as conducting educational programs, and craft demonstrations in accordance with their non-profit status. The Guild preserves traditional crafts as well as blending new emerging contemporary crafts from around the region and showcasing the artisans in art and craft shows. For an in depth look, click on Heritage & History button below.
Our Premier Eventof the year is the Annual Fine Crafts Fair held on the 3rd weekend of November.
Use these tabs to navigate to the different sections.
- How to Apply
- Benefits and Membership
- Heritage & History
- By Laws
- Mentoring Opportunities
- Officers & Bios
Applying for Membership
Thank you for your interest in joining Foothills Craft Guild. The buttons below will navigate and hopefully answer all your questions. The “Overview for Prospective Members” should explain qualifications required as well as our evaluation process, dues and fees. The “Application Information” is a more in-depth look at dates to join, delivering your work, do’s and don’ts for submitting your work, and filling out the application. A link is provided if you still have questions.
** Applications should be submitted in advance of the actual work delivery date. This enables us to have the appropriate peer members available on the day of jurying. If you are inside the required submitting window, please use the link provided to contact the Standards Chair for additional instructions.
If you have additional questions, please contact the Standards Chair.
Benefits and Membership
The Foothills Craft Guild is a non-profit organization of over 280 craft artists living and working in Tennessee. We are committed to preserving and promoting craft traditions in the state by:
- educating the public about the value of fine, hand-crafted objects
- sponsoring workshops and craft demonstrations whenever possible
- promoting the work of our members by hosting our annual fine craft show in Knoxville, Tennessee
Juried Guild members are invited to participate in the November show, either with a sales booth or as a craft demonstrator. The Guild has presented an annual Fall show of juried fine crafts each year since 1968. The Fall show is held at the historic Jacob Building, Chilhowee Park, Knoxville.
Being a non-profit organization, we welcome your donations, and you can find more information on our “Donate to Friends” page that describes different levels of donations available and benefits to the donor.
For a more in depth look at the beginning of the Guild, please click here
What members receive
The benefits vary greatly from one member to another. Listed below are the most mentioned.
- Exhibiting in an established Fall show that is identifiable by the community for its time of year and location
- Exhibition opportunities throughout the year in libraries and galleries
- New website designed for easy navigation of information
- Secure website access for members, giving the public limited access to proprietary information
- Member information remains secure and cannot be copied for the general public
- Free social media links between the Guild website and member’s website
- Promotion opportunities on TV and radio as a pre-show build-up
- Free advertising with photos of your work on postcards, brochures, and website
- Members are known for their quality of work and being part of a respected organization.
- Monthly newsletter that keeps members informed
- Festival notification and/or special opportunities for members
- For Sale section where members can sell or purchase items from other members
- Reports of regional seminars and shows by members
- Networking opportunities with meetings, meals, and studio hosting
- Being part of the art community
- Validation stamp for having passed the jury/peer evaluation
- Scholarship fund that is available to assist members and the community to take the “next level” of classes
- Information about educational opportunities offered by area business groups and art community
Benefits in the works…
- More opportunities to sell
- Opportunities to teach and take workshops and classes
- Mentoring for incoming applicants
- Orientation for new members and tips on how to use social media
- Assistance for new members with show set up
- Seminars on current trends
Heritage & History
The Foothills Craft Guild began in 1967 when a group of Oak Ridge artisans saw the need for an organization to “promote and encourage high standards of workmanship in handicrafts” and to “sponsor handicraft shows, exhibitions, and demonstrations which contribute to the advancement and appreciation of art and handicrafts of all kinds.” The preceding quotes are from the Foothills Charter granted to the Guild by the State of Tennessee in 1968. The Foothills By-laws govern the direction of the organization and are changed only by vote of the membership.
The Guild has grown from its beginnings in Oak Ridge into a State wide organization of over 280 craft artists, mostly from middle and east Tenn. The Guild is managed by an eleven person volunteer Board of Directors who are elected from the general membership annually. Staff support positions include a Guild Bookkeeper, Jane Sharp; Public Relations Director, Aleex Conner; Show Director, Dorothy Smith; Membership Director, Denise May; and a Webmaster.
The Guild moved it’s headquarters in 1994 to the Emporium Building, located at 100 South Gay Street, Suite 110, in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee. With more opportunities and relationships on the horizion, Foothills Craft Guild continues to grow and share the legacy of Fine Art Crafts at the annual show in November and exhibitions in the community throughout the year.
To view the whole story, click here
ARTICLE I. Name and Location
Section 1. The name of this corporation shall be the Foothills Craft Guild, Inc.
Section 2. The location of the principal office of this corporation in the State of Tennessee shall be in the Oak Ridge environs, Tennessee. This corporation may have such other offices either within or without the State of Tennessee as the Board of Directors may, from time to time, designate.
ARTICLE II. Objectives
Section 1. This Corporation shall operate as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Tennessee, and no part of the income of this corporation shall inure to the benefit of any individual member.
Read the By-Laws in full by downloading the pdf document…
Did you know that the Foothills Craft Guild provides scholarships to anyone that resides in the state of Tennessee? We want to encourage and support emerging artists as well as established artists seeking new or expanded skills by offering craft scholarships to residents of the state of Tennessee, at least 18 years old. This includes Guild members. Donations received from Friends of Foothills help support the Guild by funding our scholarship program, please consider supporting Foothills Craft Guild with your donation.
Scholarship awards cover ½ of the class tuition up to $150 and are awarded on a case-by-case basis. The number of scholarships awarded each year is determined by available funding.
To apply for a scholarship, download the application and fill it out. You will need a letter of recommendation from a Guild member or someone in the community that understands how the class may help you progress in your craft. You will need a copy of the class description provided by the sponsoring teacher or organization. Lastly, provide a copy of the receipt from payment of the class. Put all this in the mail to: Foothills Craft Guild, Scholarship Committee, PO Box 5650, Knoxville, TN 37928. Your application along with supporting information will be reviewed by the Scholarship Committee and be presented to the Board for approval. Upon approval, you will be contacted by someone on the committee about the results. This process will take about 6 weeks.
Things to know before applying …
- Scholarships are available to members and non-members 18 years old or older.
- Scholarships are awarded for instruction, research, or writing in a field of study in a craft recognized by the Foothills Craft Guild.
- Applicants who have received scholarship money must wait for a period of 3 years before re-applying.
- Amount of award will be not more than 50 percent of cost of tuition, with a cap of $150.
- All applications must be accompanied by a letter of recommendation from a teacher, craft artist, or other appropriate person who is familiar with the applicant’s work.
- Application filled in, along with these supporting documents, should be mailed to Foothills Craft Guild, Attention Scholarship Committee, P.O. Box 5087, Oak Ridge, TN 37831:
- letter of recommendation
- copy of class description from sponsoring teacher/organization
- receipt of payment of class
- Application and above support documents must be received by the Foothills Craft Guild before the date of the class. Allow 6 weeks for processing the application request.
- All applications are reviewed per the policies established by the Board of Directors. Recommendations are made by the Scholarship Committee and are then presented to the Board of Directors for a final decision. Applicant will be notified approximately 6-8 weeks after receipt of the application.
- Scholarship checks will be paid and mailed to the sponsoring teacher/organization or will be sent as reimbursement to the student.
If you have additional questions, please contact the Scholarships Director.
This program is being established. If you have a specific need, please feel free to contact any Board member.
Officers of the Guild and Board Members: Click here to view full Bios
- Lynnda Tenpenny, President – Contact by Email
- Robbie Gentry, Past President:
- Linda Folks, Treasurer – Contact by Email
- Liz Martin, Secretary:
- Ann Lacava, Standards Chairman – Contact by Email
- Ruth Harper, Special Events Coordinator/Scholarship Director – Contact by Email
- Jim Gentry, Member at Large:
- Tom Fuhrman, Member at Large:
- Chris Szaton, Member at Large:
- Sue Mowen, Member at Large: