ROCK HILL — From the 1930-50s, Black Mountain College in North Carolina was a liberal arts institution whose teaching of craft and design was heavily influential not only to American artists, craftspeople and designers, but in developing art and design curricula throughout the world.
The Winthrop University Galleries will present a more in-depth look at its role and impact in “Black Mountain College: Shaping Craft + Design,” curated by Katie Lee Koven and organized by the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center (BMCM+AC).
The exhibition, made possible with funding from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, will be on display Feb. 7-March 28 in the Rutledge Gallery. An opening reception is scheduled for Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m.
Though the college was not considered an “art school” as today’s current definition, the focus on arts allowed the college community to explore different disciplines and opportunities. European and American artists, such as Josef and Anni Albers, John Cage and Merce Cunningham, took refuge at the college, with many artistic high points tracing their roots back to the school. This exhibition brings together a selection of objects made by Black Mountain College faculty and students to inspire new ways of thinking about the role of BMC on the fields of studio craft and design from the middle of the 20th century through today.
Several upcoming events will focus on Black Mountain College. All are free cultural events:
Feb. 6, 8 p.m.
Katie Lee Koven, exhibition curator and gallery director of the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum at Utah State University, will give a talk in 119 Rutledge Building.
Feb. 25, 8 p.m.
Mary Emma Harris, director of the Black Mountain College Project and author of “The Arts at Black Mountain College,” will also give a talk in 119 Rutledge Building.
March 11, 8 p.m.
Winthrop faculty members Sandra Neels, Ron Parks and Seymour Simmons will discuss the college’s collaborative model, covering dance, music and visual art. The discussion will be held in 120 Conservatory of Music.
March 12, 8 p.m.
The Galleries and Winthrop DSU team up for a showing of “Fully Awake: Black Mountain College,” a documentary talking about the experimental college. The documentary will be shown in Dina’s Place.
Opening concurrently in the Elizabeth Dunlap Patrick Gallery will be works by painter Charles Ladson.
The Georgia resident creates large hauntingly beautiful canvasses of skewed every-day scenes, landscapes and emotionless figures, tilting us into his surrealistic world. Ladson’s images, formed with architectural precision, gestural layering of paint and muted tones, resonate with an eerie, stillness and dream-like effect. Works on display will include “Outhouse” and “Pyramid.”
Ladson earned his B.F.A. from the School of the Visual Arts in New York and an M.F.A from the Lamar Dodd School of Art. Ladson will give an artist talk on his exhibition on Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. in 119 Rutledge Building and an opening reception will be held on Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m.
Other gallery events are in the Lewandowski Student Gallery, unless otherwise noted:
• Feb. 17-28: Interactive Graphics Exhibition
• March 10-21: Sculpture Exhibition
• March 31-April 18: B.F.A. Senior Exhibition
• April 21-June 14: 26th Annual Undergraduate Juried Exhibition; Rutledge Gallery
• April 21-May 9: M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition, Elizabeth Dunlap Patrick Gallery
• April 28-May 20: Senior Interior Design Exhibition
Winthrop University Galleries hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. It is closed on weekends and university holidays. Galleries will have extended hours on the following dates and times: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on Feb. 6, 17 and 25; and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Feb. 15 and March 1.
For more information, call the Galleries at 803/323-2493 or e-mail Karen Derksen, Galleries director, at email@example.com. Follow the Galleries online on Facebook or Twitter.