The art of Black Mountain

You probably won’t see the stringed instrument at first. The seemingly abstract patches of whites, greens, and browns may, on first glance, resemble some kind of flower. Or maybe they mimic something entirely unique based on your own Rorschach Test perceptions. But give it a minute and it’s clear as day — a stringed instrument, albeit a distorted one.

Ati Gropius Johansen‘s study of a stringed instrument is one of many works being showcased as part of The Arts of Black Mountain College, a celebration of the school’s contributions to the art world. Hosted in the Upper Gallery of the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, the exhibit features original artwork, photos, and historical documents relating to the college’s storied past.

Although it closed in 1956 after only 23 years of operation, the college made an indelible impact on liberal arts education. It was famously the location of Buckminster Fuller and Kenneth Snelson’s first geodesic dome, as well as the site for avant-garde composer John Cage’s first “happening.”

The opening reception for The Arts of Black Mountain College will be Sunday, July 7, from 2-4 p.m. The exhibit will be on display through Friday, July 26. The Black Mountain Center for the Arts is located at 225 W. State Street in Black Mountain and is open Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Info: 669-0930 or


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