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Art school as an institution seems like one of the most inflexible of all the higher education formats–the pressure on the right programs, the right schools. Have you encountered any disbelief about what alternative education can do to expand that very narrow vision?

For some people who are more heavily steeped in institutions, it’s hard to really place what we are, and they spend a lot of energy trying to slip us into a familiar box.

Asheville Grit

Imagine stepping into a discussion about shamanic practices and dreaming. Or picture collaborating on a mural, learning turntablism, or exploring the microverse through fermentation and visualization. Now, picture immersing yourself into these experiences for a full week or more. Sound intriguing? It all exists at the School of the Alternative.


Tim Kerr was teaching a class in Black Mountain last summer when he noticed that nothing in town noted that Black Mountain College used to be nearby.

“I was kind of amazed,” the Houston-based folk artist and muralist said last week. So last week he and a dozen of his students at the School of the Alternative painted a mural depicting some of the college’s notable faculty on the side of a building on Sutton Avenue.


Higher education is in a state of crisis. Student debt is skyrocketing. And those looking for masters degrees pay ever-higher sums to institutions that frequently underpay the very adjunct faculty they employ as teachers. For those in the arts, the question of whether or not an MFA is worth the investment of time and money proves perpetually vexing. Enter the inaugural Alternative Art School Fair (AASF), an initiative of the educational wing of Red Hook, Brooklyn’s Pioneer Works.




We are thrilled to have a small feature in the October issue of Juxtapoz Magazine. Article is currently in print only. 



For months, if you've glanced at the blog or Facebook, I've been throwing around info and blurbs about Black Mountain School. It's hard to believe that it was only six months ago that I drove down to Black Mountain, NC to attend a weekend planning retreat with more than a dozen other artists -- the very beginning stages of planning. Prior to that I've relished any opportunity to write about the original Black Mountain College, so it's been both a long time coming and an insanely fast project...



When people think “art world,” some conjure images of the white walls of Chelsea galleries, the thud of an auctioneer’s gavel at Sotheby’s or Christie’s, or the cacophony of chattering voices heard at art fairs. Rarely does a little town just outside of Asheville, North Carolina, come to mind—at least among those in the world’s art centers. And perhaps that’s exactly why it was there, at Black Mountain College, that 83 years ago a new set of profoundly influential ideas about arts education began to germinate...


mountain xpress

Two local artists, Adam Void and Chelsea Ragan, have organized a reboot of Black Mountain College. The monthlong program, called the Black Mountain School, brings art instructors, staff and students from all over the world to the Black Mountain YMCA’s Blue Ridge Assembly — the original site of the college from 1933 to 1940...


The first session of the brand-new Black Mountain School gets underway on Saturday May 21st. The organizers were inspired the legacy of Black Mountain College, an experimental college notable for bringing together an impressive group of artists, musicians, poets, and free-thinkers during its 24 year existence between 1933 and 1957. WCQS's Jeremy Loeb spoke with Executive Director Chelsea Ragan and board member Heidi Gruner about the launch...



Black Mountain School, an experiment in education and community in the spirit of Black Mountain College, will open in May 2016. The new school, which has been founded by two North Carolina artists, is inspired by Black Mountain College, where Fuller was a key faculty member. The school’s first summer sessions (which are already full), will begin on May 21...



As a fundamental departure from corporatized profit-driven learning, a “one size fits all” curriculum, and the programmatic, and bureaucratic uniformities that define accredited institutions of higher education, Black Mountain School is an opportunity for students and educators to collaborate in generating knowledge and forming new visual experiences...



Black Mountain School happens that in 2016, on the remains, on memory, on the glories, the myth - you decide - of the name that has become involuntarily a brand, a group of artists North Carolina decide to establish a school inspired by the legendary college which ceased its activities in 1957...



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...



This summer, the organizers of the new Black Mountain School will seek to reconstruct a lost environment in hopes of yielding a powerfully new set of results. Only time will tell if an encounter between a hallowed site’s mythology and the students of a new era can spark a genuinely distinctive sensibility...


Dioniso punk

If you believe education is only what you received, with the will of a prisoner, in the brightest and most creative hours of your life, learning things that you’ve never needed and you’ve quickly forgotten. If this is the same treatment you will inexorably reserve to your children, in the fear of being too rare as a black mountain lion…