Alex Ates: Avant-Folk Ways of Seeing Black Mountain College in Total Identity

Alexander D Ates

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Avant-Folk Ways of Seeing Black Mountain College in Total Identity

Black Mountain College (1933-1957), formerly located in Black Mountain, North Carolina, is frequently credited as a pivotal force for innovative education and progressive artistic movements in the twentieth century. In this presentation, evidence is offered to demonstrate that the school’s site predisposed it as a place of avant-garde activity, the “avant-folk.” Ates calls this historical reframing of the college its “total identity”—and looks at the implications for the national narrative about where innovative art is practiced and perpetuated.

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