The University of Arizona Museum of Art and Archive of Visual Arts

Love, Kinship and Connection: Relationships at Black Mountain College


Thursday, February 9, 2023 | 5:30 PM

This talk takes place in the School of Art Atrium/UAMA Courtyard and is preceded by a reception for the BMC Playbook exhibition in Joseph Gross Gallery beginning at 4:00 p.m.

From 1933-1957 in the misty Blue Ridge Mountains, Black Mountain College was a hub of experiential education, and became fertile ground for artistic and cultural developments that made a lasting imprint across fields.

Incalculable relationships were forged or compounded at BMC between the famed and lesser-known alike: Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Josef and Anni Albers, Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence, Ruth Asawa and Albert Lanier, Merce Cunningham and John Cage, Lorna Blaine Halper and Ray Johnson, Dorothea Rockburne and Max Dehn, Sue Weil and Robert Rauschenberg, and Kenneth Snelson and Buckminster Fuller – to name a few. Starting with a brief introduction to BMC to acquaint those with less familiarity, this talk by lydia see will focus on the relationships – romantic and otherwise – that stimulated BMC culture at the time and have contributed to its enigmatic legacy since.

lydia see is the Gross Endowed Curator and Director of Galleries in the School of Art at University of Arizona, and recently relocated to the desert from lower Appalachia (unceded Cherokee and Yuchi land) – just a few miles from the former site of Black Mountain College. Living in Asheville, NC in the early aughts, lydia see found kinship in the people and places of BMC history and legacy. As an artist who works across making, teaching, and curatorial practice both in and outside the institution, the unique pedagogical philosophy and autonomous conditions of the College’s co-creation will continue to be inexorably woven into lydia’s praxis.

Image | lydia see weaving in the Round House at Black Mountain College, 2015. Photo: Parker Stewart

*This talk is presented in conjunction with the current exhibitions Restored: The Return of Woman-Ochre and Abstract Perspectives in Mid-Century ArtAll talks in the Spring 2023 Speaker Series are generously supported by Tim Hagyard with Long Realty, specializing in historic and unusual properties.