Thursday, October 20, 2011

events NYC | Homage to Black Mountain College and Its Legacy

A poetry reading and music performances at the Loretta Howard Gallery celebrated the legacy of Black Mountain College. Readers and performers included Margaret Leng Tan, Francine du Plessix Gray, John Yau, Vincent Katz, Maureen Howard and Dave Sear.

Black Mountain College, was founded in 1933 by John Andrew Rice, Theodore Dreier, and other former faculty members of Rollins College, in Black Mountain, North Carolina. It introduced a new teaching and learning philosophy,  where art was the focus of several disciplines. An interdisciplinary approach, was central to all the student works, including musi composers, poets, and designers, including  Buckminster Fuller (who design and built the first geodesic dome) and John Cage. In Black Mountain College the breadth of experimental art and innovative design was accompanied by liberal thinking and free lifestyle; it was the first college to integrate. Unfortunately the college closed in 1954.

John Yau read from his own poem collections, Margaret Leng Tan played John Cage's composition on her "toy piano" Francine du Plessix Gray read poems from Jonathan Williams, the founder of the "Jargon Society" oress. The readings also included  some of Charles Olson's "The Maximus Poems" and Robert Creeley "Distance". Dave Sears concluded the evening with his music and lyrics recalling civil right battles against segregation. Zuccotti Park "Occupy"was often mentioned, with applause from the audience.

Strolling through the gallery after the very reading I saw a very inspiring exhibition showing the eclecticism of Black Mountain College explorations.
Kenneth Snelson's Tensegrity

 Buckminster Fuller

 Dave Sears