Western Carolina University Professor Anna Fariello Writes Book on Cherokee Pottery


Anna Fariello, associate research professor at Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library in Cullowhee, NC, and director of the craft revival project, has completed a new book titled, Cherokee Pottery.

The book traces the designs and patterns of Cherokee pottery as they have developed over centuries and into contemporary times. It recounts “the history of a tradition passed from elder to child through countless generations,” according to the book’s publisher, History Press. The 160-page book, published in March, contains both archival and new images of the region, pots and potters. The book is $12.99 and available through (www.historypress.net) and local booksellers.

Cherokee Pottery follows Fariello’s Cherokee Basketry of 2009. Both are part of the “From the Hands of our Elders” series, and both were funded in part through the Cherokee Preservation Foundation.

Fariello also recently was awarded a $24,998 grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership that will fund an online component of mountain potteries and Cherokee potters as part of the craft revival project (www.wcu.edu/craftrevival/) and the creation of a trail brochure covering both Cherokee and mountain potteries. The BRNHA Partnership is the nonprofit organization charged with preserving, interpreting, developing, and celebrating the rich and unique natural and cultural heritage in the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

The craft revival website makes a massive database of images and documents accessible online. The site has been nominated for awards from the Appalachian Studies Association and the North Carolina Folklore Society, it was a monthly feature on the State Library of North Carolina website in December 2009, and it was awarded a “Best of the Web” designation from LearnNC, a leading scholarly website focused on K-12 education. The website and work on Cherokee crafts earned Fariello the NC Folklore Society’s 2010 Brown-Hudson Folklore Award.

Since arriving at WCU in 2005, Fariello has written eight successful state, federal and private foundation grants for the library’s digital collections totaling $609,400.

“I am aiming for a million,” Fariello said.

She is author of two previous interpretive texts, Objects & Meaning and Blue Ridge Roadways as well as visual arts editor for the Encyclopedia of Appalachia. Fariello holds advanced art and museum study degrees from James Madison University and Virginia Commonwealth University. She was a former research fellow at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art.

In March, Fariello participated in the ninth annual think tank sponsored by the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design at the Kellogg Center in Hendersonville, NC. This year’s discussion focused on exploration and collaboration, ways to advance craft practice and theory in education, and conceptualizing the place of the individual artist outside the studio.

For more information about Cherokee Pottery or the Craft Revival project, contact Fariello at 828/227-2499 or e-mail to (fariello@wcu.edu).

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