Black Mountain College
International Artist Prize

An annual grant of $20,000 awarded to international or national artists working in the spirit of Black Mountain College (1933-1957).

Black Mountain College (BMC) was a uniquely global college, with ideas and ideals grounded in worldviews that extend beyond the Western canon. In the same way, the legacy of the college has taken root across the globe, evolving and expanding to encompass disparate identities and forms of expression. BMCM+AC is dedicated to preserving the history of BMC as well as facilitating new work through collaboration with contemporary artists. As we advance this mission, we are privileged to have a blueprint set forth by Black Mountain College that valued the greater good, experimentation, and accountability.

Funded by cultural pollinators Hedy Fischer and Randy Shull, The BMC International Artist Prize allows BMCM+AC to continue building relationships and creating an impact with intention by supporting the creation of new work by the most innovative artists working within the BMC tradition today. The BMC Prize reflects the spirit of Black Mountain College as a place conducive to experimentation, where global social movements, communitarian efforts, and process-based practice flourished.

BMC Prize artists have the opportunity to develop their practice in a context that is rich with artistic and cultural significance and ongoing contemporary relevance through a guided site visit to the historic Black Mountain College campus at Lake Eden with BMCM+AC staff, transportation to Asheville, and a four-day stay to spend time at BMCM+AC, with a tour of the exhibitions and archival support at the museum and neighboring Western Regional Archives.

Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center awards the third annual BMC International Artist Prize to Alison Croney Moses

About the 2024 BMC Prize Recipient: Alison Croney Moses

Boston-based artist Alison Croney Moses creates wooden objects that reach out to your senses—the smell of cedar, the color of honey or the deep blue sea, the round form that signifies safety and warmth, the gentle curve that beckons to be touched. 

Born and raised in North Carolina by Guyanese parents, making clothing, food, furniture, and art is embedded in her memories of childhood. She carries these values and habits into adulthood and parenting—creating experiences, conversations, and educational programs that cultivate the current and next generation of artists and leaders in art and craft. 

Select Honors:  Alison Croney Moses’s work is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She is a recipient of the 2023 Boston Artadia Award, the 2022 USA Fellowship in Craft, and a finalist of the 2024 LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize. She was recently named one of the 2023 WBUR 10 Makers. Her work has been featured in American Craft Magazine and Boston Art Review. In the Fall of 2023, her first solo was reviewed in the Boston Globe. Alison holds an MA in Sustainable Business & Communities from Goddard College, and a BFA in Furniture Design from Rhode Island School of Design.

BMC Prize Nominator Seth Cluett remarks: “With the uncompromising interdisciplinarity of woodworking excellence and artistic invention, Alison Croney Moses exemplifies the Black Mountain College spirit. Balancing the design expertise of skillful hands with a practice committed to community growth and empowerment, I can’t imagine a more fitting artist to celebrate with the Black Mountain College Prize.”

BMC Prize Nominator Dexter Wimberly remarks: “It was an honor to jury such an outstanding group of artists for the Annual Black Mountain College International Artist Prize. I was moved by the vulnerability and clear focus expressed in Alison Croney Moses’ proposal, and inspired by her commitment to collaboration with her community. I believe she embodies the spirit and values of Black Mountain College, and will live up to its meaningful legacy. I am very excited to see what Alison accomplishes as a result of this well-deserved career support and opportunity. I have no doubt the outcome will be powerful.”

BMC Prize Nominator Ruth Erickson remarks: “I think of the BMC Prize like a prism reflecting the many facets of Black Mountain College. In Alison Croney Moses, we have an artist whose engagement with wood in her own artwork and deep commitment to building community exemplifies the ways that craft and community worked in concert at BMC. I think of the beautifully organized woodshop at the college, where Molly Gregory helped to acquaint many students and faculty with the beauty and structure of wood, while making sculptures, tools, and a place to gather and be accepted. Moses through her hand and heart has expanded the field of woodworking and formed spaces of connection for women, mothers, and artists of color.”

“Trained as a furniture maker, my sculptures use a combination of timeless woodworking techniques, such as coopering and bent lamination, to create delicate, intricate shapes with a subtle nod to the female form. 

My inspiration sometimes comes from the materials and processes themselves, capturing universal forms and impressions from nature and the human body. Other times, it come from photos, gatherings, and memories that serve as an impetus for my explorations of Black motherhood, where I examine my experiences of childhood and motherhood, reframing my memories for my children and my own healing. 

I strive to create situations where people are compelled to interact, to express, and challenge themselves to heal, to stand taller, to build community, and to work toward a more just future. This occurs in a classroom where my presence shows that art and woodworking is a valid pursuit for young people who look like me or when I bring together mothers of color in Boston to build solidarity, support, and friendship while we navigate raising Black and Brown children to value their own identities in a white society, or it happens within people as they interact with my work, hopefully having a lasting impact that can be felt beyond that moment. “  — Alison Croney Moses

About the 2024 Nominators

Seth Cluett is an artist and composer whose work ranges from photography and drawing to video, sound installation, concert music, and critical writing. Cluett’s works are marked by a detailed attention to perception and to the role of sound in the creation of a sense of place, the workings of memory, and the experience of time. The recipient of grants from Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Fund, the Mellon Foundation, and Meet the Composer, his work has been presented internationally at venues such as The Whitney Museum, MoMA/PS1, Moving Image Art Fair, CONTEXT Art Miami, GRM, and STEIM. He has published writings with MIT Press, Tacet Revue, Leonardo Music Journal, and the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, and his creative work is documented on Line, Sedimental, Notice, and Winds Measure recordings. Since 2017, Cluett has served as Artist-in-Residence at Nokia Bell Labs and is Director of the Computer Music Center and Assistant Director of the Sound Art MFA Program at Columbia University. 

Ruth Erickson currently serves as the Barbara Lee Chief Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs at the The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. She has organized exhibitions including To Begin Again: Artists and Childhood, A Place for Me: Figurative Painting Now, and When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art; and solo presentations of Guadalupe Maravilla, María Berrío, and Barbara Kruger, among others. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including the critically acclaimed Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–57 (2015), for which she was co-editor and served as research fellow. Before joining the ICA, Erickson was a fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia and served as curator at Burlington City Arts. Erickson is the recipient of a prestigious Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellowship in 2021.

Maura Keefe is a contemporary dance historian and scholar in residence at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. She is currently the Director of the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Keefe has given lectures and led audience programs nationally at places such as Princeton University, UCLA, Kennedy Center, and New York Live Arts; and internationally for the Festival Internacional Danza Extremadura, Mexico. She has published essays on women in dance, contemporary dance forms, and dance cultures. Keefe is the president of the Council of Dance Administrators and Chair of the Committee on Ethics for the National Association of Schools of Dance. She has served as a panelist for the New York State Council of the Arts, Maryland State Arts Council, and National Endowment for the Humanities. Keefe was previously Chair of the Department of Dance at SUNY Brockport and was on the dance faculty at Ohio University.

Paul Lazar founded Big Dance Theater in 1991 with Annie-B Parson. His work with the company includes conceiving, directing and/or performing in such works as “17c” (BAM) Supernatural Wife (BAM), and Comme Toujours Here I Stand (The Kitchen), at theaters ranging from The Old Vic in London to the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Paul directed Young Jean Lee’s Obie Winning “We’re Gonna Die” as well as plays at Saint Ann’s Warehouse and Classic Stage Company. Lazar has appeared in The Wooster Group’s North Atlantic, Brace Up!, Emperor Jones and The Hairy Ape. He is an instructor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and has taught Acting, Directing or Theatre History at Yale University, SUNY Purchase, Rutgers University, The Bill Esper Studio and The Michael Howard Studio. He is currently teaching at the Theater, Dance and Media concentration at Harvard. Paul’s film career includes roles in Silence of the Lambs, Mickey Blue Eyes, Lorenzo’s Oil, Philadelphia, The Host and Snowpiercer as well as numerous other films and television shows.

Dexter Wimberly is an American curator based in Japan who has organized exhibitions in galleries and institutions around the world including the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City; The Green Family Art Foundation in Dallas, Texas; The Harvey B. Gantt Center in Charlotte, North Carolina; KOKI Arts in Tokyo, Japan; BODE in Berlin, Germany; and The Third Line in Dubai, UAE. His exhibitions have been reviewed and featured in publications including The New York Times and Artforum; and have received support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and The Kinkade Family Foundation. Wimberly is a Senior Critic at New York Academy of Art, and the founder and director of the Hayama Artist Residency in Japan. He is also the co-founder and CEO of the online education platform, CreativeStudy. 

Press Materials:

2023 Alison Croney Moses Exhibition at Abigail Ogilvy Gallery, “The Habits of Reframing”. Photo by Mel Taing. | Alison Croney Moses with her 2021 sculpture My Babies. Photo by Jesika Theos. | Alison Croney Moses, Holly Shell, 2023. Photo by Mel Taing. | Alison Croney making pod sculpture 1-2. | Alison Croney Moses, Shell, 2007. Photo by Michael Vinluan.

2023 Prize Winner Adelita Husni-Bey

About the 2023 BMC Prize Recipient: Adelita Husni Bey

Adelita Husni-Bey’s work focuses on intersecting questions of gender, race, and class using collectivist and non-competitive pedagogical models within the framework of contemporary art. Her practice involves the analysis and counter-representation of hegemonic ideologies through popular education methodologies. Practicing as both an artist and a pedagogue she activates creative processes, such as role-playing, group undertakings, filmmaking and study sessions, producing situations for collective analisys. Working with a wide array of groups including students, athletes, lawyers, activists and architects, Adelita has developed methodologies that allow her and her collaborators explore their own relationship to the social and economic power of our present times.

Select Honors: Her work was part of the Italian pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, Venice, 2017, and her first US solo exhibition Chiron was exhibited at the New Museum, New York, 2019. She has participated in Being: New Photography 2018, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2018; Dreamlands, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2016; The Eighth Climate, 11th Gwangju Biennale, 2015; Really Useful Knowledge, Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, 2014; and Utopia for Sale?, MAXXI Museum, Rome, 2014.

Listen to BMC Radio Episode 10, a conversation with Adelita Husni-Bey:

About the 2023 Nominators

Bonnie Jones is a Korean-American improvising musician, poet, and performer working with electronic sound and text. She performs solo and in numerous collaborative music, film, and visual art projects. Bonnie was a founding member of the Transmodern Festival and CHELA Gallery and is currently a member of the High Zero Festival collective. In 2010, she co-founded TECHNE, an organization that introduces young female-identified women to technology-focused art making, improvisation, and community collaboration. TECHNE’s programs are delivered through partnerships with grassroots organizations that share an aligned commitment to racial and gender equity. She has received commissions from the London ICA and Walters Art Museum and has presented her work extensively at institutions in the US, Mexico, Europe and Asia. Bonnie was a 2018 recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award. Born in South Korea, she was raised on a dairy farm in New Jersey, and currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland and Providence RI on the lands of the Susquehannock, Piscataway, Algonquian, and Narragansett.

Arooj Aftab is a Grammy award winning singer, composer, and producer who works in various musical styles and idioms, including jazz, minimalism, and Urdu poetry. She has been named one of NPR’s Top 100 composers, and has been featured on several best concerts lists, including The New York Times. Her Vulture Prince album was met with critical acclaim from 

The Guardian, Time Magazine, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times. Aftab has performed at major international music festivals including Coachella, Glastonbury, Primavera Sound Barcelona, Roskilde Festival, and Montreal Jazz Festival. She has also performed at Performance Art Centers such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, and The Broad. Aftab is a 2023 United States Artists Fellow and a recipient of the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Music.

Richard Colton is the founder and director of an interdisciplinary arts’ residency program at The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, this summer working with Gandini Jugglers and Sandbox Percussion in a new collaboration around the music of Xenakis. Richard leads Movement Without Borders at Judson Memorial Church, a program he founded that brings together artists and activists around the urgent issues of immigration and homelessness. In 2023 he co-conceived and produced a dance film to celebrate the centennial of Ellsworth Kelly’s birth. In 2024 he will be curator for Max Roach100@The Joyce Theater. Colton is currently editing a film he created inspired by the writings of Clarice Lispector. 

Euridice Arratia is a curator and art advisor based in the Paris metropolitan area. In 2006, she opened the Arratia Beer gallery in Berlin with Elizabeth Beer. She served as director at Galerie Chantal Crousel in Paris from 2018 to 2020. Arratia’s roots are in New York City, where she began as an independent curator and received her MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has also written several articles for publications such as Frieze and Bomb Magazine.

Daniela Perez is a contemporary art curator based in Mérida. She currently works at Fundación T.A.E. as curator and coordinator of art projects. In 2017-18 she was selector for the Artes Mundi prize in Cardiff, UK. Between 2015 and 2017 she was deputy artistic director at Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. In 2015 she curated the exhibition We Must Become Idealists or Die. Gustav Metzger at Jumex Museum. She has been awarded curatorial grants by the Foundation for Arts Initiatives (2020 and 2013) and was part of the curatorial team of the 9th Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre, Brazil (2013). In 2011 she co-founded a platform to conceptualize, develop and promote contemporary art projects in diverse formats called de_sitio. Between 2007 and 2011 she was associate curator at Museo Tamayo. She has worked at diverse institutions, including Museu de Arte Moderna, Sao Paulo; New Museum, New York; Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City. Daniela writes regularly for different publications and has taught at La Esmeralda and Soma. She obtained her MA degree in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art, London.

Header image: THE COUNCIL, 2018, photographic series, “Founder’s Room: Third Plenary Session on the Future of the Institution,” chromogenic print mounted on Dibond. 159 X 304 cm. Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, courtesy Galleria Laveronica.

2022 Prize Winners Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian

About the 2022 BMC Prize Awarded Artists: Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian

Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian. Photo courtesy of SHIRN. | Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian – QAGOMA. Photographer: Natasha Harth. Copyright Queensland Art Gallery.
Over the past few decades, Ramin, Rokni, and Hesam have shared a life philosophy that has allowed for mutual creation, during which their individual practices interact with their collaborative ones and which is informed by the understanding and technical skills of other people. From the dialogues they build among themselves and with other artists, friends, and collaborators, these artists have established a personal language that has enabled them to present different layers of content and texture in their work.

Aware that their practice does not only encompass what they do but also the contributions of other individuals, from other artists, carpenters, technicians, thinkers, and caretakers to everyone else who is involved in the making of a project, these artists refuse the concept of the genius Artist. They prefer to acknowledge everyone who becomes part of their working process, as they believe that through their individual participation, everyone, collaboratively, creates a shared environment and a unique sensibility that enables them to coexist while contributing to the making of something new. Thus, a main element of their practice is human labor, including theirs, as well as a working process that involves the inclusion of different opinions, discussing and considering opposing perspectives and approaches, and mainly, experimenting with a wide range of possibilities.

Listen to BMC Radio Episode 9, a conversation with Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian:

About the Nominators

Peter Cole is a poet and translator, currently serving as Senior Lecturer of Judaic Studies and Comparative literature at Yale Univerity. Cole has received numerous honors for his work, including fellowships from the NEA, the NEH, and the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Jewish Book Award for Poetry, the Association of American Publishers’ Hawkins Award for Book of the Year, the PEN Translation Award for Poetry, the American Library Association’s Brody Medal for the Jewish Book of the Year, and a TLS Translation Prize. He is the recipient of a 2010 Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2007 was named a MacArthur Fellow.  He is currently a co-editor of Princeton University Press’s Lockert Library of Poetry in Translation, and divides his time between Jerusalem and New Haven.

Hedy Fischer and Randy Shull are cultural pollinators based in Asheville, NC and Merida, Mexico. Hedy and Randy establish spaces for social advocacy and community-centered art practice, reflecting an awareness of power dynamics and institutional barriers, specifically against female, Black, and Latinx artists. As the pair states, “Part of our commitment to the arts is a feeling of responsibility to participate in the global discourse that seeks to rewrite many overlooked histories and to provide an avenue for conversation and understanding.” Together they founded Pink Dog Creative in Asheville’s lively River Arts District as well as 22 London, where they present exhibitions from their personal art collection of internationally recognized artists and performances. They have been active participants in the international art world as art collectors for the past twenty-five years. Hedy is on the Board of Trustees of Art21 in New York City as well as the Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center, Asheville, NC. Randy Shull, himself an artist, works at the intersection of architecture, landscape design, furniture design, and painting and keeps studios in both Asheville, NC, and Merida, Mexico. Randy has received an NEA Southern Arts Federation Grant as well as a Fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council. Randy is on the Board of Trustees of The North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC.

Kelly Kivland is Chief Curator & Director of Exhibitions for the Wexner Center for the Arts, the multidisciplinary contemporary art laboratory at The Ohio State University. Since 2011, Kivland served as curator at Dia Art Foundation. Her curatorial work there includes solo exhibitions and projects focused on Nancy Holt, Isabel Lewis, Steve Paxton, and Joëlle Tuerlinckx, Maren Hassinger, and Joan Jonas. Recent projects include the acclaimed installation Party/After-Party by Carl Craig, as well as the digital commission May amnesia never kiss us on the mouth by Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme. Kivland has authored numerous essays, catalogues, and other publications in conjunction with these efforts. She has also overseen partnerships to steward two permanent works of Land Art that are part of Dia’s collection: Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels and Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty. Throughout Kivland’s career are instances of the curator expanding her collaborations with artists practicing in a variety of disciplines, along with numerous stints as a guest critic, juror, lecturer, and panelist. She’s worked with organizations and institutions in the US and abroad including the Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI); the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, and the Walker Art Center; and is currently on the board of the biannual journal Fence.

Ralph Lemon is an artist generating interdisciplinary modes of artistic expression as he strives to communicate stories, emotions, memories, and identities that do not conform to standard categories of representation. His notable works Geography Trilogy (1996-2004), Scaffold Room (2014), and Saturnalia (ongoing) interrogate cultural exchange, language, and contemporary societal structures. Ralph Lemon’s work has been acknowledged with awards such as the National Endowment for the Arts choreographic fellowship; American Choreographers Award, 1987; Gold Medal, New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award, 1987. Lemon received a 2000 Creative Capital Performing Arts Award and 2012 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award. He is a 2020 MacArthur Fellow. Ralph Lemon was one of the twelve recipients of the 2015 National Medal of Arts. In 2018, he received the 23rd Annual Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities. In 2019, he received the Francis J. Greenburger Award for artists whom the art world knows to be of extraordinary merit but who have not been fully recognized by the public.

Abaseh Mirvali is a Curator and Cultural Project Producer with a career-long commitment to civic engagement and public service through innovative collaborations between contemporary art initiatives and the community at large. Most recently, Mirvali served as Executive Director, Chief Curator, and CEO at Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB), in California, USA, where she established a world-class level exhibition program, accompanied by substantive and innovative education and engagement initiatives. Her professional background includes previous roles as the Executive Director of the Colección/Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City from 2005-2008. There, Mirvali fortified and developed one of the most distinguished collections of contemporary art held by a private institution in Latin America. Mirvali also served as the CEO and Executive Director of Denver’s Biennial of the Americas for its 2013 edition, establishing the vision for their exhibitions, public art projects, and urban architectural interventions as well as its policy programs. Earlier in her career, Mirvali served as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador for Culture and Education, creating innovative art and educational programming led by the Embassy of the United States in Mexico City. Mirvali has also collaborated with renowned cultural institutions, artists, and architects around the globe as well as served on the boards of various cultural and educational organizations in cities including Bogotá, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Milan, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo, Turin, and Vienna, as well as Berlin and Mexico City.

Header image: Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian. Photo courtesy of SHIRN.

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