Our world goes to pieces; we have to rebuild our world. . . .
We have to find our strength rather than our weakness.
–Anni Albers, 1944
Black Mountain College began in politically and economically tumultuous times. Its founders believed that every individual had a responsibility to contribute to a vibrant, resilient, and inclusive society—and that the arts were an integral part of such a society. We strive to uphold these principles.
While the financial impact of COVID-19 has been a difficult blow for BMCM+AC, shifting our activities online over the past several months has also offered unprecedented opportunities to connect with and support artists, musicians, performers, researchers, and educators from around the world as well as here in Asheville. Thousands of you have joined us to connect through free virtual performances, discussions, and learning resources.
These are just a few of the recent public events in BMCM+AC’s Museum from Home initiative:
- Artists Steve Locke and Ben Hall discussed Locke’s current work, Homage to the Auction Block, a series informed by Josef Albers’ Homage to the Square and the visual language of America’s long history of racial exploitation.
- The author of the newly published biography Everything She Touched: The Life of Ruth Asawa, Marilyn Chase spoke with us about Ruth Asawa’s life, and how Asawa exemplified wielding imagination and hope in the face of intolerance.
- Composer Matana Roberts and musicians Brooklyn Rider joined us from Berlin and New York, respectively, to discuss and perform Roberts’ piece borderlands… from Healing Modes, which explores immigration and the interconnectedness of music and healing.
- UK-based innovative participatory artists Leap Then Look delved into the BMCM+AC Permanent Collection to create an interactive project and workshop as part of their digital artist residency.
- Art historian and professor Julie Levin Caro explored how her experience as a scholar of Black Mountain College and of BMC faculty member Jacob Lawrence has served her as an educator during this crisis.
- Grammy Award-winning quartet Third Coast Percussion and Asheville-based composer and modular synth practitioner Bana Haffar performed and discussed Haffar’s work Shed, inspired by Anni Albers’ weaving notation and commissioned by BMCM+AC as part of the exhibition Question Everything! The Women of Black Mountain College.
These vital conversations and new opportunities are possible thanks to your enthusiasm and support. We understand that this is a challenging time. If donating is an option for you, please know that your support represents a critical investment in the future of Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center and our community, and that we are grateful.
Will you consider contributing to support another year of offering new, innovative ways to connect through the arts?
As a supporter, you’ll join the Amphion Foundation, Asheville Area Arts Council, Beattie Foundation, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund, Marion Stedman Covington Foundation, Horowitz Foundation, Luce Foundation, Henry Moore Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New Music USA, North Carolina Arts Council, North Carolina Humanities Council, Windgate Foundation, and others in helping us not just to survive through this difficult time, but to reinvent and reinvigorate what we do.
With deepest thanks from the entire BMCM+AC staff,
Jeff, Alice, Kate, and Carissa
1. Brooklyn Rider performing borderlands… by Matana Roberts via livestream, July 15, 2020.
2. Recreations of a photograph by Hazel Larsen Archer created by participants during Leap Then Look’s digital artist residency, July 5, 2020. From left: original by Hazel Larsen Archer, and Instagram submissions by @artpedagogy, @mona.cambs, @littlepotter888, @doctor.horror, @lucycrancan, @aeioutururublog, and @polkest.