Arts Education Visual Arts

Spirit of Change: Artists of Black Mountain College Featured at BlackBird Frame & Art

V-5, serigraph from Interaction of Color. Josef Albers, artist

Through September and October, BlackBird Frame & Art will offer an opportunity to view and acquire work by artists associated with Black Mountain College, the legendary experimental school that was situated about 20 minutes east of Asheville from 1933 until 1957. Nearly 30 pieces will be offered in this show, representing 16 artists with ties as faculty or students of the school, including Josef Albers, Ilya Bolotowsky, Jean Charlot, Mary Callery, Fannie Hillsmith, Charles Oscar, Sarah Carlisle Towery and Cora Kelley Ward.

“Our show of art from students and faculty of Black Mountain College was so well received last year that we decided to bring more work, and more affordable pieces, to our appreciative Asheville audience,” says BlackBird’s owner John Horrocks. “It is an extraordinary opportunity to not only see the work of these artists but to purchase for one’s own collection, and in the process, to bring these works to a rightful home in WNC.”

Though prices range from $425 to upwards of $20,000 for one focal piece, most pieces range from $800–$1,500. The media on display will run the gamut. Works on paper include watercolors, lithographs and serigraphs as well as collages. Oils and acrylics on canvas are also available.

Pastoras. Jean Charlot, artist

Black Mountain College was founded in the spirit of change, on principles of progressive education that focused on arts and humanities in a democratic, communal structure and emphasized life experiences over delivered knowledge. Bauhaus artists Josef and Anni Albers led a succession of avant-garde luminaries who served as faculty or students in diverse disciplines, the likes of John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Buckminster Fuller, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Willem de Kooning, Ruth Asawa and Kenneth Noland, to name a few. From its short life, the school delivered extensive and lasting impact on both modern art and education, serving as a precursor for many of today’s alternative colleges.

“Black Mountain College remains, decades later, one of the most important events in the history of contemporary American art and education, and one of the treasures that define this region to the world,” says Horrock.

BlackBird Frame & Art is a custom framing studio that features fine art prints. The shop is located at 365 Merrimon Avenue, three-quarters of a mile north of downtown Asheville. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. To learn more, phone 828.225.3117 or visit BlackBirdFrame.com.

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