Susan Weil Exhibition + Grand {Re}OPENING Press Release

Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
56 Broadway, downtown Asheville
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 828-350-8484
Hours: Tues.-Wed. 12-4, Thurs-Sat. 11-5 and by appointment
Contact: Alice Sebrell at 828-350-8484
ASHEVILLE, NC – December 30, 2014


poemumbles: 30 years of Susan Weil's poem/images
Exhibition: January 30 - May 23, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday, January 30, 2015 from 5:30 - 8:00pm, FREE Admission
Curated by Brian E. Butler and Rachael Inch
Gallery Talk by Rachael Inch at 7:00pm
Reception Refreshments provided by Cecilia's Kitchen and Vortex Doughnuts

SusanWeilApril2000forwebThe Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in downtown Asheville presents the new exhibition poemumbles: 30 years of Susan Weil's poem/images from January 30 – May 23, 2015 with a free opening reception on Friday, January 30 from 5:30 - 8:00pm. There will be a gallery talk by Susan Weil's studio assistant and exhibition co-curator Rachael Inch at 7:00pm during the opening reception. The exhibition opening coincides with the Grand {Re}Opening of our renovated and redesigned museum at 56 Broadway in downtown Asheville.

Susan Weil is a painter, printmaker and book artist living in New York City. She studied at Académie Julian in Paris before enrolling at Black Mountain College in 1948 and then later at the Art Students League in New York. Weil is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her work is included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the National Museum, Stockholm; Helsinki City Art Museum; and Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid. In 2011, the distinguished fine-art publisher Skira released Susan Weil, Moving Pictures, a 142-page monograph on the artist's large and diverse body of work, with an emphasis on her paintings of the last two decades. It includes scholarly essays on her life and work by noted critics Dore Ashton, David Weir, and Olle Granath. Copies of this book will be for sale.

Susan Weil's poemumbles are a unique form of poetic expression that explore the limitless potential and fluidity of her thoughts in visual and verbal form. Weil has always had an affinity for words. Ever since her father Leonard read Chaucer and Joyce to her as a child, words have given Weil a unique way of looking at the world. When Susan met her Swedish dealer Anders Tornberg in 1977, she began sending him poems and accompanying images. Over the course of the next six years, Weil sent some 5,000 poemumbles to Anders in Lund, Sweden, from high on the 18th floor of her Chinatown apartment.

On May 11th, 1984, Anders received a poem, a delicate watercolor cup of coffee, and a note declaring Weil's intention to write and send to Anders a daily poemumble. By 1986 Susan was making three versions of her poemumbles, one large version for her notebooks, and postcard sized versions for Anders, and for her dear friend and publisher of livres d'artiste, Vincent FitzGerald.
Today, 30 years and over 10,930 poemumbles later, Weil has stayed true to her intention. No subject is too small or grand for a poemumble. One day Weil might elucidate the experience of seeing a painting, form a play on words, evoke a distant memory or dreamscape, whisper murmurs of the sea, or the pull of the moon. The poemumbles have also been place for Weil to weave her thoughts and images with past creative masters. Da Vinci, Botticelli, Rumi, Picasso, Henrik Ibsen, Gertrude Stein, 'Papa Matisse' as Susan fondly calls him, and her lifelong inspiration and creative co-collaborator 'Jimmy Joy,' James Joyce have all made guest appearances in Weil's poemumbles.

Earlier poemumbles of delicate pencil drawings and watercolors, rubber stamped with the date, evolved into collages of magazine images and textual snippets. As Weil's studio work has changed so too have the poemumbles. Today, Weil incorporates found images from the vast trove of the Internet into her daily poems, and has made several plexi-glass works inspired by earlier poemumbles.

The exhibition includes over 60 of Weil's poemumbles made between 1984 and 2014. Additionally, several of her notebooks will be on display to provide a deeper look into her artistic process.

This project receives support from: the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, through the Asheville Area Arts Council; UNC Asheville Howerton Distinguished Professor in the Humanities.

Image Citation: Susan Weil, April 23, 2000, collage, 11 x 8.5 inches. Courtesy of the Artist.


Grand {Re}OPENING of the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
Friday, January 30, 2015 from 5:30 - 8:00pm, FREE Admission
Gallery Talk by Randy Shull at 6:30pm

In conjunction with the Susan Weil exhibition opening, we will open our newly redesigned and renovated museum space at 56 Broadway in downtown Asheville, NC. The redesign and renovation is funded by a major grant from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, and is being led by Asheville-based and internationally recognized artist/ designer Randy Shull. He will give a gallery talk at 6:30pm about his design process for the new space.

The Grand {Re}OPENING at 56 Broadway is Phase One of a larger expansion that will include the addition of a second museum gallery (for changing exhibitions) and collection storage vault in the building owned by the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design at 67 Broadway, diagonally across the street from our current location.

The overall project supports multiple educational initiatives including: paid museum internships and a design apprentice; an expanded art library and research center for scholars, students and BMC enthusiasts; increased access to our oral history interview archive and our permanent collection of artwork and primary documents related to Black Mountain College. Phase Two at 67 Broadway will open in the summer of 2015.

The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center preserves and continues the unique legacy of educational and artistic innovation of Black Mountain College for public study and enjoyment. We achieve our mission through collection, conservation, and educational activities including exhibitions, publications, and public programs.

Related Programming

Saturday, January 31, 2:00 p.m.
Weaving Ear and Eye: Susan Weil's Poemumbles - Sara Kirschenbaum + Rachael Inch
A conversation tracing the evolution of Susan Weil's poemumbles, exploring their origins, themes, and influences, and a lifelong journey of weaving word and image.  
Free BMCM+AC members + students w/ID / $5 non-members

Saturday, February 21, 7:30 p.m. + Sunday, February 22, 3:00 p.m.
R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe, two encore performances of this one-man play written by D.W. Jacobs from the life, work, and writings of inventor, designer, and BMC summer faculty member Buckminster Fuller will be performed by noted actor and storyteller David Novak.
$10 for BMCM+AC members + students w/ID / $15 non-members

Thursday, March 5, 7:30 p.m.
Heather South, Archivist at the Western Regional Archives, will discuss and show images and collection items from the Black Mountain College holdings owned by the State Archives and sign copies of the new photographic publication of Black Mountain College.

Sunday, March 15, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Word and Image, taught by book artist and calligrapher Annie Cicale. In this workshop we will explore the complementary nature of word and image and work with compositions to bring the two together in an expressive and communicative way. Call 828-350-8484 to register.
$50 for BMCM+AC members + students w/ID / $60 non-members

Saturday, April 4, 3:00 – 10:00 p.m.
6th Annual {Re}HAPPENING
An immersive, multi-sensory experience of art, performance & food in the Dining Hall and on the grounds of the BMC Lake Eden Campus organized in collaboration with The Media Arts Project.

Saturday, May 23, 2015, 8:00 p.m.
Theme: The South, organized by poet and educator Eric Steineger. Invited poets will consider the South as place, muse, hero and villain.
$5 for BMCM+AC members & students w/ID / $8 for non-members