Published on October 25, 2022 by Alabama Craft Guild  
Olivia Easterling

Alabama Designer/Craftsmen (ADC), Alabama’s oldest fine craft guild announces the first scholarship awarded in their fifty-year history.  The scholarship, which is designed to encourage the study of traditional fine craft among Alabama college students, was awarded to Olivia Easterling, an undergraduate Art Major at Samford University. Easterling, who is passionate about offering discarded and found materials new life and utility through her creative endeavors, says she enjoys the process of discovering new methods to express her creativity. “My creative process is heavily driven by curiosity, creative thinking, and problem solving and I often find I am learning new techniques as I create.”

This is the first scholarship awarded by ADC and is a part of their “50 Years of Fine Craft” campaign. According to Dr. David Byland, President of ADC, “Part of our mission is to promote and preserve the tradition of fine craft in Alabama and this scholarship represents our on-going commitment to that mission. This new generation of artisans brings not only an appreciation for those traditions, but a new world view and aesthetic that expands and enhances the reputation of fine craft in Alabama.”

Founded in 1972 by Lowell Vann, a Samford University professor, and several others, ADC features several world-renowned artisans.  Members have works in some of the leading galleries in the country and have even had their work used in major motion pictures. But you don’t have to travel to Atlanta or New York to see their work.  Each year ADC has a show at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens where members of the public can view and purchase their work. Sponsored in part by the garden Club of Alabama, District III, the show is always held the second weekend of November.  This year the show will be November 12 and 13 and feature 35 artisans selling a variety of fine and traditional craft. “Not only is this a great opportunity for people to purchase some of the best craft items Alabama has to offer, it’s a chance to support ADC’s education and outreach activities as well as the scholarship work of the Garden Club” says Byland. The scholarship award will be presented to Easterling on Sunday, November 13 at the pre-show meeting of the ADC members. Hours for the show are 10-5 on Saturday and 11-4 on Sunday.  For more information visit

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.