Black Mountain women at Yvette Torres

May 26, 2018
Photo by: Pete Jennerjahn Elizabeth Jennerjahn, pictured at Black Mountain College in 1949, is among the “BMC Women Artists” celebrated by Yvette Torres Fine Art in June.

Rockland — Yvette Torres Fine Art, 464 Main St., will open the season with “Women of Black Mountain College” Friday, June 1, during the 5 to 8 p.m. First Friday Art Walk.

Black Mountain College near Asheville, N.C., was one of the most interesting experiments in American education. Founded in 1933, during the 23 years of its bright and brief life some of the most adventurous artists in the fields of art, dance, music, poetry and design taught or studied there.

Most of the more famous names — John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Joseph Albers, Charles Olson, Buckminster Fuller — were men, but there were also notable female artists. Yvette Torres Fine Art represents a number of BMC artists and will feature nine of these women in its season-opening show.

Susan Weil, at 88 the only one among the featured artists still alive, is best known as a painter of mixed media. Hazel Larsen Archer was a photographer, known for her photographs of BMC denizens and its surroundings. Lorna Blaine Halper did a bit of everything, from painting to sculpture to silkscreens. Karen Karnes was a well-known potter. Elaine Schmitt Urbain, wife of the more famous John Urbain, created wonderful portraits in pen and ink. Lore Lindenfeld was an accomplished textile artist; and Cora Kelly Ward, who studied painting under Joseph Albers, was known as a photographer and a painter.

M.C. Richards was primarily a poet and writer, but also created some striking pottery. And Elizabeth Jennerjahn, known chiefly as a dancer studying under Cunningham and who started the innovative Light Sound Movement Workshop with her husband, Peter, also was a textile artist.

Various gallery events are planned in conjunction with the show to illustrate the multi-dimensional artistic energy that BMC embodied including a poetry reading and a performance by local dancers and artists, demonstrating the Light Sound Movement Workshop (dates to be determined). There also will be a talk by the noted BMC scholar, and author of the definitive book on the college, “The Arts at Black Mountain College,” Mary Emma Harris, Sunday, June 10, at 3 p.m.

Regular gallery hours are Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. For more information, call 332-4014.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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