Black Mountain College: Then and Now
Presented by the The Asheville Art Museum
Thursday, April 20, 2006
7:00 8:30 p.m.
Free with Museum Membership or with Museum Admission
Diana Wortham Theatre
Galleries will be open from 5:00 6:30 p.m. to view the exhibition
Black Mountain College: Its Time and Place
Join us for a special symposium on the contemporary relevance of Black Mountain College. The speakers will be scholars Mary Emma Harris, Eva Diaz, and Gwen Robertson. Virginia B. Spivey, Ph.D., will moderate the symposium. Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources Libba Evans will introduce the speakers.
Independent scholar Mary Emma Harris is Chair and Director of the Black Mountain College Project. For more than thirty years, Ms. Harris has been studying Black Mountain College. Her research includes, among other material, more than four hundred taped and/or videotaped interviews with community members. She is author of The Arts at Black Mountain College (MIT Press, 1987).
Eva Diaz is a New York based art historian who is completing her dissertation titled Chance and Design: Experimental Art at Black Mountain College at Princeton University. This study focuses on rival methodologies of experimental art as elaborated, practiced, and disputed by three key Black Mountain teachers in the late 1940s and 1950s: Josef Albers, John Cage and Buckminster Fuller. Ms. Diaz's writing has appeared regularly in Time Out New York, Art in America and in numerous exhibition catalogs. Since 1999, she has served as Instructor of Curatorial Studies at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.
Gwen Robertson is an Associate Professor of Art History at Humboldt State University specializing in 20th century and contemporary art history. She is the co-editor of the forthcoming book, Community Performance: A Reader (Routledge, 2007) and author of numerous articles on the contemporary state of the humanities. Black Mountain College was at the heart of her dissertation research and the lessons and ideas of the College still inform and motivate the research.
The moderator will be Virginia B. Spivey, Ph.D., assistant professor of modern and contemporary art history at University of North Carolina Asheville. Dr. Spivey, who holds degrees in art history from Duke University (B.A.) and Case Western Reserve University (M.A., Ph.D.), has worked at the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Akron Art Museum and the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art. In 2005, Dr. Spivey organized a panel entitled Revisiting Black Mountain: Moving Beyond Historical Research at the annual conference of the College Art Association in Atlanta.
Black Mountain College: Its Time and Place will be the first in a three-part exhibition series, and will be on view at the Asheville Art Museum from Friday, April 7 to Sunday, August 6. Black Mountain College: Experiments in Material and Form (August 18 December 31, 2006) and Black Mountain College: Collaborations and Interdisciplinary Dialogues (January 12 May 13, 2007) will follow.
The Asheville Art Museum’s Black Mountain College exhibition series is sponsored by Asheville Savings Bank, Friends of Mountain History, the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council and the Seth Sprague Charitable and Educational Foundation. The exhibition is organized by the Asheville Art Museum.