Black Mountain College at MSA 17 in Boston

As MSA members shape panel, roundtable, and poster/digital exhibit proposals in advance of the April 17 deadline, it may be helpful to keep in mind that the ICA/Boston will open a major exhibition centered on the legacy of Black Mountain College, curated by Helen Molesworth with Ruth Erickson, about a month before MSA comes to town in November 2015.

Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957

October 10, 2015 – Jan. 24, 2016

The first comprehensive exhibition on the subject of Black Mountain College to take place in the United States, Leap Before You Look features individual works by over fifty artists. Organized by Helen Molesworth, the ICA’s former Barbara Lee Chief Curator, the exhibition offers new insights into Black Mountain College and the art produced there, as well as its lasting influence on American artistic practice and art education. Following its debut at the ICA, the exhibition will travel to the Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

As Carrie Preston mentioned in a recent message, the MSA’s conference organizing committee is working with the ICA/Boston to make the most of this happy accident of timing. An update on that prospect is expected soon.

In the meantime, MSA members interested in coordinating BMC-related proposals for the conference program are invited to contact me at, preferably before April 1.

I have volunteered to help informally with the crafting of a possible BMC “path” through the conference proceedings and would welcome the chance to work with anyone who shares that interest. (Of course, all proposals will need to go through the regular MSA review process.)

The history of BMC is especially resonant within the interdisciplinary context of MSA. It makes sense, I think, to take advantage of the opportunity the ICA’s exhibition offers us for renewed inquiry into its wide range of radical—and sometimes revolutionary?—activities.

Steve Evans