Galleries Visual Arts

BMCA Presents Julia C. Burr’s Orchestration

Artist, Julia Burr. Photo by Joye Ardyn Durham

The Black Mountain Center for the Arts (BMCA) is proud to welcome artist Julia C. Burr to the Upper Gallery with an opening reception for Orchestration on Friday, April 7, from 6–8 p.m. The show runs through May 12 and is free to the public Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Burr has been sculpting for a living for nearly 40 years. Her early career was spent in Hollywood doing props and special effects for movies, TV and commercials. Since moving to Black Mountain almost 20 years ago, she has focused on her versatile and multifaceted fine art.

Burr’s evocative work challenges viewers with its power, simplicity, intricate attention to detail and humor. This work has evolved over the past 15 years from wood and steel kinetic abstractions, to gestural steel figurative work, to a small-scale installation that used the gallery floor during one show to create a “stream.” Orchestration expands on her four previous BMCA installations by surrounding the observer with the natural world and its lessons about death and the dying process.

“My experience as well as nature has taught me that death is not the big bad monster at the end of the road; it is, quite simply, just another process in the circle of life,” says Burr. “Participation in one of the most intimate and potentially transformative processes that life has to offer is essential. When love is the dominant element around dying, there is an orchestration of events that reveals a primal synchronicity unreachable from any other point.”

Imbedded and protruding from an organic “nest,” dozens of amalgamated mixed-media pieces tell the story of the orchestration that comes from participating in the dying process. Burr has combined parts of musical instruments with natural elements to create her environment for the show. She collaborated with local composer and recording artist Zach Cooper in the production and composition of the sound component of the installation. Some of the pre-recorded elements come from local chamber music ensemble Pan Harmonia. Burr’s work is installed as public art throughout the south. Her iconic works grace Pack Square and the Urban Trail in Asheville, and she recently installed the first piece of public artwork for the Black Mountain Greenway, which is underway.

Also in April At BMCA

A Slice of Life: An Evening of Stories Saturday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. $15. Join nationally celebrated storyteller Connie Regan-Blake and six of her “Taking the Stage” workshop participants, for an enchanting evening of storytelling.

Robin Bullock Homecoming Concert Saturday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. $20. Acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and Celtic guitar “god” Robin Bullock returns for his fourth homecoming concert since moving to Black Mountain. Black Mountain Center for the Arts is located at 225 West State Street. The Upper Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To learn more, call 828.669.0930 or visit

1 Comment

  • As a lifelong friend and privy to Julia Burr’s journey, I am not at all surprised she took on this intimate subject. I am however, always amazed by the her depth and her perception that allows us the ability to see through her heart and mind. And that is for me, an awakening and thought provoking experience of an artist not just a friend.

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