{Re}Happening 2012

One of the things I really love about living in Asheville is its wonderful arts community, which encompasses everything from street performance, freak festivals and circus cabaret to artisan crafts to fine arts and opera. I have never felt more immersed in a vibrant arts culture, and the great thing is that all the events and artists seem to overlap and mingle, creating a supportive and nurturing environment for those who choose to be a part of it.

The history of the arts in Asheville is also fantastic. One place I am particularly intrigued and inspired by is Black Mountain College. It was established in 1933 and influenced by the educational principles of John Dewey. The list of artists who were integrally involved in the school is a list of many who really energized my creativity as a young student at The University of Tasmania School of Art and the educational philosophies resonated with me nearly 20 years later when I went back to University to study Education.

From the BMC website,

“A partial list includes people such as Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Josef and Anni Albers, Jacob Lawrence, Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Cy Twombly, Kenneth Noland, Ben Shahn, Franz Kline, Arthur Penn, Buckminster Fuller, M.C. Richards, Francine du Plessix Gray, Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Dorothea Rockburne and many others, famous and not-so-famous, who have impacted the world in a significant way. Even now, decades after its closing in 1957, the powerful influence of Black Mountain College continues to reverberate.”

John Cage staged his first “happening” at BMC in 1952, assisted by Robert Rauschenburg and Merce Cunningham.

{Re}HAPPENING is an art event and creativity-initiator developed through a fundraising and art-based collaboration between the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center (BMCM+AC) and the Media Arts Project (MAP). It takes place at Lake Eden, the historic site for Black Mountain College’s main campus, about 20 minutes out of Asheville. In addition to art and performance, there is a strong connection back to BMC in the celebration of art, food and communal dining, with many local restaurants and farms contributing to the dinner event.

Saturday’s {Re}Happening was my first and there was definitely a lot going on! So much so that it was a bit of an adventure just getting around all of the performances and installations under a near-full moon sans map or schedule, but to me that was part of the whole experience.

I’m looking forward to next year!

For more info, you can visit  {Re}Happening, Black Mountain College Museum and MAP