School Leaves Colorful Legacy

School Leaves Colorful Legacy
Museum, Festival Bring History to Life


The Studies Building at Black Mountain College.

Photo by Harriet Sohmers.
The artsy spirit of Asheville and the surrounding areas is founded in a deep and colorful history, one that has had a considerable impact on contemporary art in both the U.S. and abroad. One chapter of that history has enjoyed a lot of attention lately due to some exciting new changes, including coverage in The New York Times.

Black Mountain College, which operated from 1933 until 1957 was an experimental school that employed and taught some of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Situated on two campuses east of Asheville--one that is now the site of the Blue Ridge Assembly and one now home to Camp Rockmont and the semi-annual Lake Eden Arts Festival--the college drew the likes of artists Josef and Anni Albers, musician John Cage, dancer Merce Cunningham and inventor Buckminster Fuller.

For more than a decade, the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center has continued the legacy of the school, hosting avant-garde art exhibitions featuring work by and inspired by college faculty and students in their downtown Asheville location.

This year, the museum has embarked on an expansion, one that will allow more regular displays of the Black Mountain College collection at the original 56 Broadway location, while also providing a new, larger gallery space across the street at 67 Broadway.

Experience the Legacy
The BMCM+AC also hosts an annual event in the spirit of the college. The [Re]Happening--named after one of John Cage's performances--is an immersive, multimedia festival that marries music and dance with installation art and other performances. This year's event will be held on Saturday, April 4 on the former campus at Camp Rockmont.

And in true Asheville fashion, Highland Brewing Company will release a small-batch beer to celebrate--the Abstract Black IPA carries delicious aromas of coffee, dark chocolate, loads of citrusy hops and a hint of smoke. It will be released on Friday, April 3.

Hollywood Ties
And that's not all! Black Mountain College will also make a cameo appearance (at least in spirit) on the big screen with the debut of The Longest Ride, a film based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks. The story features two intertwined love stories, one of which has ties to the college and its artists. The film hits theaters April 10.

Explore of Asheville's arts scene.

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