BMC Active Archive Artist Residency

The BMC Active Archive Residency, a partnership between Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center and Lake Eden Preserve, is a unique program that invites artists to develop work inspired by the history and philosophy of Black Mountain College. The residency takes place at the historic site of the College, aiming to recreate the dynamic and creative atmosphere that made BMC a powerful incubator for new ideas. Throughout the residency artists have access to Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center’s extensive collection of archival materials related to the history of the College, available for research and inspiration. The BMC Active Archive Residency is made possible with major support from the Windgate Foundation.

2024 BMC Active Archive Residents

This inaugural cohort of residents–made up of artists Jen Clay, Arden Cone, and Julian Jamaal Jones–reflects the experimental and collaborative ethos of the BMC legacy, working in diverse mediums and using multidisciplinary methodologies.

Jen Clay

Jen Clay was born in 1985 in Mountain View, North Carolina. She received her BFA in Sculpture from the University of North Carolina Charlotte and her MFA from the University of Florida in 2014. 

Clay creates elaborately sewn textiles of ambiguous non-human figures which speak to the audience through audio or sewn messages to make fear, anxiety, and uncertainty approachable. She uses the plushy textures of quilted textiles and manipulated fabrics to create an intuitive, comforting feeling for her avatars. Accessibility and inclusivity are integral elements of her work. Her work develops a multi-sensory and tactile language of comfort and safety, rekindling memories of stuffed animals and heirloom quilts.

Clay’s residencies include Oolite Arts, Miami Beach, FL (2020-2022), along with a connected residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (2020), New Smyrna, FL. A short segment on her practice, “Jen Clay: The Texture of Anxiety,” won a 2020 regional Emmy through South Florida PBS. A Knight Arts New Work Award funded Clay’s new video game and installation, which debuted at Locust Projects in the Fall of 2023. Clay lives and works in Miami, FL, and is represented by the Emerson Dorsch Gallery.

Arden Cone

Arden Cone, an artist born and raised in South Carolina, unpacks the historical narratives that inform the varied identities, viewpoints, and experiences framing contemporary American culture. Through her paintings, sculptures and installations, she seeks to excavate core truths and fallacies from the accepted narrative of American history. 

In 2012, Cone received BA degrees in Studio Art and Spanish from Hollins University. In 2018 she earned an MFA from Boston University’s Painting Program. Since then, she has completed residencies at the Chautauqua Institute School of Fine Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Pike School of Art. She has exhibited her work widely across the US and was named a finalist for the 2017 Arthur & Dorothy Yeck Award at Miami University (Oxford, OH). 

Forthcoming, Cone has a solo exhibition of her work at Greenville Center for Creative Arts, a curatorial project to be exhibited at Hollins University’s Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, and a solo exhibition in Johnson City, TN. Arden has written for art publications including BURNAWAY, The Brooklyn Rail and her own art blog, One South Contemporary.

Julian Jamaal Jones

Julian Jamaal Jones is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator born and raised in Indianapolis, IN. Jones received his Bachelor’s degree in Photography in 2020 from the Herron School of Art + Design (Indianapolis, IN) and a Masters in Photography in 2022 from Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI), under the tutelage of Chris Fraser. 

Jones memorializes Black culture by presenting fresh perspectives while presenting creative freedom within traditional landscapes. His unique practice communicates through the historical language of African American quilting tradition by implementing abstract forms and vibrant colors in his works to bypass the preconceptions and open conversations around his Black experience.

Jones was awarded the CICF Artist Ambassadors Travel Grant in 2023, ArtsConnect’s “Artist to Watch” in 2022, the recipient of the 2022 Playground Emerging Artist Fellowship, supported by the Knight Foundation and the recipient of the prestigious Museum Purchase Award from Cranbrook Art Museum in 2022. Jones’s works are in the permanent textile collections of Cranbrook Art Museum (Bloomfield Hills, MI), Richmond Art Museum (Richmond, IN) and The Book Tower Detroit (Detroit, MI).

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Header image: Photo of the historic BMC Studies Building by Houck Medford, taken at {Re}HAPPENING 11, 2023.

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