Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2020  Vol. 19 No. 2
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The Mountain Lake Symposium and Workshop: Art in Locale was published in conjunction with the 2019 exhibition Rural Avant-Garde: The Mountain Lake Experience. This show was organized and presented by the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts of Longwood University under the aegis of its Executive Director Rachel Talent Ivers. Ray Kass and Howard Risatti, who edited the book, also advised on the selections for the show. The exhibition and the book documented a remarkable period of collaboration and creation that took its name from its first gatherings in the inn where it met in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwestern Virginia.

Susan Glasser notes in her review essay of the book:

The Mountain Lake Symposium and Workshop, launched in 1980, was originally organized as a fall symposium at the Lodge followed in the spring by a related workshop at nearby Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (more commonly known as Virginia Tech). This format, with some additions, continued until 1990. From then until 2009, the yearly programs generally omitted the symposia and added assorted exhibitions, performances, and travel excursions. Thanks to the efforts of Virginia Tech, in partnership with key collaborators at Virginia Commonwealth University, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Mountain Lake Lodge found itself host to the likes of Stephen Addiss, John Cage, Anthony Caro, Howard Finster, Suzi Gablik, Clement Greenberg, Allan Kaprow, Joseph Kosuth, Rosalind Krauss, Donald Kuspit, Kay Larson, Sally Mann, Charles Miller, Ed Paschke, Robert Pincus-Witten, Tim Rollins, Kay Rosen, Irving Sandler, Nancy Spero, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Wayne Theibaud, John Yau, to mention a few!

Paper smoking group at Mountain Lake
Paper Smoking Group at Mountain Lake

This triptych presents Glasser's review essay, work by Kass made under the influence of the Mountain Lake collaborations, and excerpted text by Risatti from The Mountain Lake Symposium and Workshop: Art in Locale.