New Experimental School Founded on Black Mountain College Campus

North Carolina artists have founded a new school inspired by the legendary avant-garde Black Mountain College, Art in America’s Erick Lyle reports. The new school—Black Mountain School—cites extreme tuition costs, corporatized profit-driven learning, and a one-size-fits-all curriculum as the reasons there is a need for a school that embodies the principles that governed Black Mountain College.

The founders, Chelsea Ragan and Adam Void, first came up with the idea to establish the school on the same site as the famed college after they moved to Black Mountain in 2013. In October 2015, a retreat was held at Black Mountain College’s Lake Eden Campus, which brought together eighteen artists and led to discussions on how to create the structure for the school. Now Black Mountain School is accepting applications for its inaugural class until March 31.

Currently, the new school features two summer sessions that each offer twenty-two classes and are nearly two weeks long. The first session launches May 21. A sample of the courses, which cover an array of topics, include: “How Hip-Hop Transformed Contemporary Art,” “Conceptual Art and Espionage Bootcamp,” “Racial and Queer Imaginaries,” “Finding Fungi,” and “Contemporary Fresco Experimentation.”

Reviving the same communal lifestyle, some thirty instructors will live, work, and create with the students. The faculty will include John and Charlie Ahearn as well as Sara Bright, among others.

Black Mountain College founded by educator John A. Rice in 1933 and famously attracted artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Merce Cunningham, and John Cage.