Haywood Community College Professional Crafts Fiber student Diane Ardanowski was recently awarded the Dendel Scholarship from the Handweavers Guild of America, Inc. (HGA) for $3,000. This scholarship is made possible by the generous donation of the late Gerald and the late Ester Dendel to foster studies in the fiber arts. Along with the scholarship, Ardanowski received a student membership with HGA.

Since high school, Ardanowski has collected textiles. She worked in the fashion industry on and off since the age of 16. Originally from New York, Ardanowski moved to Los Angeles where she spent 15 years before moving back to the east coast. But it wasn’t until she began HCC’s Professional Crafts Fiber program that she learned how to weave.

“Sometimes I can’t sleep because I want to come to school to weave,” Ardanowski says. “The HCC instructors are incredibly supportive with their time and energy. There’s a lot of creative energy in the Creative Arts Building. We get ideas from each other. It builds community.”

Ardanowski says through HCC’s Professional Crafts program, students get experience working on deadlines and learning how to manage their time. “Participating in exhibits gets your name out there. You get to know not only the local community but also the local fiber community. I can’t imagine how much harder it would be without getting the business perspective.”

Ardanowski works as a studio manager for an Asheville yoga studio. After graduating from HCC, she hopes to work for a local fiber company or open her own fiber studio.

“The HCC program is intense,” Ardanowski says. “It’s amazing how far we come and what we learn. Receiving this scholarship is a huge honor. It says something about this program and the quality of it.”

For more information about HCC’s Professional Crafts Fiber program, please call 627-4672.