John C. Campbell Folk School

JCCFS – a comparison with Penland

I got one good painting out of this, but I think that is pretty good considering it is the first time I have painted in thirty years.

John C. Campbell Folk School is a good place to take a vacation. It is not nearly as intense as Penland School of Crafts. The food at both places is so good that comparison is tough, but I think I liked Penland better for the food. It was set out cafeteria style there and had better vegetarian choices. I was definitely one of the younger crowd at JCCFS, not so at Penland. I was the youngest in my class at JCCFS. The oldest was 89! And JCCFS wins hands down for cleanliness. I stayed in similar buildings built around the same year at both places. My room at Penland was just plain dirty. They called it rustic. JCCFS somehow figured out how to keep all the dust out. Maybe they cleaned harder or maybe they sealed the cracks. I suspect both.

JCCFS wins for relaxation and not so serious students – also for cooking, music and dance. It has shorter lengths of classes so it is cheaper and easier to take the time off work. There is a larger variety of classes. It feels very homey. Penland wins if you need college credit or a intense course of study. It is best for serious artists and craftspeople, I think. It has a bit more attitude. Both schools are stunningly beautiful places. If I had the money and the time, I’d go to both of them with equal enthusiasm as they suited my needs.

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