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Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Vera B. Williams / STORIES Eight Decades of Politics and Picture Making
Feb 21 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center

 

Exhibition and Public Programming

Vera B. Williams, an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, started making pictures almost as soon as she could walk. She studied at Black Mountain College in a time where summer institutes were held with classes taught by John Cage and Merce Cunningham. Williams studied under the Bauhaus luminary Josef Albers and went on to make art for the rest of her life. At the time of her death, The New York Times wrote: “Her illustrations, known for bold colors and a style reminiscent of folk art, were praised by reviewers for their great tenderness and crackling vitality.” Despite numerous awards and recognition for her children’s books, much of her wider life and work remains unexplored. This retrospective will showcase the complete range of Williams’ life and work. It will highlight her time at Black Mountain College, her political activism, and her establishment, with Paul Williams, of an influential yet little-known artist community, in addition to her work as an author and illustrator.

Author and illustrator of 17 children’s books, including Caldecott medal winner, A Chair for My Mother, Vera B. Williams always had a passion for the arts. Williams grew up in the Bronx, NY, and in 1936, when she was nine years old, one of her paintings, called Yentas, opens a new window, was included in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. While Williams is widely known for her children’s books today, this exhibition’s expansive scope highlights unexplored aspects of her artistic practice and eight decades of life. From groundbreaking, powerful covers for Liberation Magazine, to Peace calendar collaborations with writer activist Grace Paley, to scenic sketches for Julian Beck and Judith Malina’s Living Theater, to hundreds of late life “Aging and Illness” cartoons sketches and doodles, Vera never sat still.

Williams arrived at Black Mountain College in 1945. While there, she embraced all aspects of living, working, and learning in the intensely creative college community. She was at BMC during a particularly fertile period, which allowed her to study with faculty members Buckminster Fuller and Josef Albers, and to participate in the famed summer sessions with John Cage, Merce Cunningham, M.C. Richards, and Robert Rauschenberg. In 1948, she graduated with Josef Albers as her advisor and sculptor Richard Lippold as her outside examiner. Forever one of the College’s shining stars, Vera graduated from BMC with just six semesters of coursework, at only twenty-one years old. She continued to visit BMC for years afterward, staying deeply involved with the artistic community that BMC incubated.

Anticipating the eventual closure of BMC, Williams, alongside her husband Paul Williams and a group of influential former BMC figures, founded The Gate Hill Cooperative Artists community located 30 miles north of NYC on the outskirts of Stony Point, NY. The Gate Hill Cooperative, also known as The Land, became an outcropping of Black Mountain College’s experimental ethos. Students and faculty including John Cage, M.C. Richards, David Tudor, Karen Karnes, David Weinrib, Stan VanDerBeek, and Patsy Lynch Wood shaped Gate Hill as founding members of the community. Vera B. Williams raised her three children at Gate Hill while continuing to make work.

The early Gate Hill era represented an especially creative phase for the BMC group. For Williams, this period saw the creation of 76 covers for Liberation Magazine, a radical, groundbreaking publication. This exhibition will feature some of Williams’ most powerful Liberation covers including a design for the June 1963 edition, which contained the first full publication of MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Williams’ activism work continued throughout her life. As president of PEN’s Children Committee and member of The War Resisters league, she created a wide range of political and educational posters and journal covers. Williams protested the war in Vietnam and nuclear proliferation while supporting women’s causes and racial equality. In 1981, Williams was arrested and spent a month in a federal prison on charges stemming from her political activism.

In her late 40’s, Williams embarked in earnest on her career as a children’s book author and illustrator, a career which garnered the NY Public Library’s recognition of A Chair for My Mother as one of the greatest 100 children’s books of all time. Infinitely curious and always a wanderer at heart, Williams’ personal life was as expansive as her art. In addition to her prolific picture making, Williams started and helped run a Summerhill-based alternative school, canoed the Yukon, and lived alone on a houseboat in Vancouver Harbor. She helped to organize and attended dozens of political demonstrations throughout her adult life.

Her books won many awards including the Caldecott Medal Honor Book for A Chair for My Mother in 1983, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award– Fiction category– for Scooter in 1994, the Jane Addams Honor for Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart in 2002, and the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature in 2009. Her books reflected her values, emphasizing love, compassion, kindness, joy, strength, individuality, and courage.

Images:

Cover of Vera B. Williams’ A Chair for My Mother, published in 1982.

Vera B. Williams, Cover for Liberation Magazine, November 1958.

Hybrid | Sex Romp Gone Wrong: Julia Ridley Smith in conversation with Meagan Lucas
Feb 21 @ 6:00 pm
Malaprop's Bookstore

Malaprop’s welcomes Julia Ridley Smith in conversation with Meagan Lucas to discuss Sex Romp Gone Wrong: Stories. 

The event is free but registration is required for both in-person and virtual attendance. 

Please click here to register for the VIRTUAL event. The link required to attend will be emailed to registrants prior to the event.

Please click here to register for the IN-PERSON event. Note the important event details on the RSVP form.


In her debut story collection, Julia Ridley Smith navigates the currents and eddies of desire, sex, love, and relationships.

These twelve highly accomplished stories are witty and accessible, intelligent and thought-provoking. A girls’ week at the beach prompts hot tub drinking, awkward confessions, and a poignant reconsideration of friendship. A caregiver extracts a small repayment from her elderly patient for his long-forgotten role in the demise of her family. A young woman, new to New York City, finds herself in a complex but tacky love affair and reckons with the unfolding plot of her life. In the title story, a woman plots to conceive a second child while at a convention hotel with her husband and teenage daughter, both of whom have other plans. Smith’s stories will beguile and delight readers while at the same time exploring the deep and often difficult ties of family, marriage, and romantic love in modern life.

Sex Romp Gone Wrong is Julia Ridley Smith’s first story collection. Her first book, The Sum of Trifles, is a memoir published by the University of Georgia Press (2021) as a title in their Crux literary nonfiction series. Julia’s short stories and essays have appeared in the Alaska Quarterly Review, American Literary ReviewArts and Letters, the Carolina Quarterly, Chelsea, Ecotone, Electric Literature, the Greensboro Review, the New England Review, Southern Cultures, and The Southern Review, among other places. Julia teaches creative writing at UNC Chapel Hill.

Meagan Lucas is the author of the award-winning novel, Songbirds and Stray Dogs and the collection, Here in the Dark. Meagan is Pushcart, Best of the Net, Derringer, and Canadian Crime Writers’ Award of Excellence nominated, and won the 2017 Scythe Prize for Fiction. Her short story “The Monster Beneath” was noted as Distinguished in 2023 Best American Mystery and Suspense and Songbirds and Stray Dogs was North Carolina’s selection for the Library of Congress Center for the Book’s 2022 Route 1 Reads program. She teaches Creative Writing at Robert Morris University and in the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNC-A. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Reckon Review. Born and raised on a small island in Northern Ontario, she now lives in Flat Rock, NC.


This event includes a book signing. If you would like a signed book but can’t attend in person, you may order a signed copy online below. If you would like to have your book personalized, please order online or call the store at least two hours before the start of the event. When ordering online, use the comments field to provide a name for personalization, e.g. “To Carla.” NOTE: We do our best to get books personalized when requested but personalization is not guaranteed.

If you decide to attend and to purchase books, we ask that you purchase from Malaprop’s. When you do this you make it possible for us to continue hosting author events and you keep more dollars in our community. You may also support our work by purchasing a gift card or making a donation of any amount below. Thank you!

Thursday, February 22, 2024
Vera B. Williams / STORIES Eight Decades of Politics and Picture Making
Feb 22 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center

 

Exhibition and Public Programming

Vera B. Williams, an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, started making pictures almost as soon as she could walk. She studied at Black Mountain College in a time where summer institutes were held with classes taught by John Cage and Merce Cunningham. Williams studied under the Bauhaus luminary Josef Albers and went on to make art for the rest of her life. At the time of her death, The New York Times wrote: “Her illustrations, known for bold colors and a style reminiscent of folk art, were praised by reviewers for their great tenderness and crackling vitality.” Despite numerous awards and recognition for her children’s books, much of her wider life and work remains unexplored. This retrospective will showcase the complete range of Williams’ life and work. It will highlight her time at Black Mountain College, her political activism, and her establishment, with Paul Williams, of an influential yet little-known artist community, in addition to her work as an author and illustrator.

Author and illustrator of 17 children’s books, including Caldecott medal winner, A Chair for My Mother, Vera B. Williams always had a passion for the arts. Williams grew up in the Bronx, NY, and in 1936, when she was nine years old, one of her paintings, called Yentas, opens a new window, was included in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. While Williams is widely known for her children’s books today, this exhibition’s expansive scope highlights unexplored aspects of her artistic practice and eight decades of life. From groundbreaking, powerful covers for Liberation Magazine, to Peace calendar collaborations with writer activist Grace Paley, to scenic sketches for Julian Beck and Judith Malina’s Living Theater, to hundreds of late life “Aging and Illness” cartoons sketches and doodles, Vera never sat still.

Williams arrived at Black Mountain College in 1945. While there, she embraced all aspects of living, working, and learning in the intensely creative college community. She was at BMC during a particularly fertile period, which allowed her to study with faculty members Buckminster Fuller and Josef Albers, and to participate in the famed summer sessions with John Cage, Merce Cunningham, M.C. Richards, and Robert Rauschenberg. In 1948, she graduated with Josef Albers as her advisor and sculptor Richard Lippold as her outside examiner. Forever one of the College’s shining stars, Vera graduated from BMC with just six semesters of coursework, at only twenty-one years old. She continued to visit BMC for years afterward, staying deeply involved with the artistic community that BMC incubated.

Anticipating the eventual closure of BMC, Williams, alongside her husband Paul Williams and a group of influential former BMC figures, founded The Gate Hill Cooperative Artists community located 30 miles north of NYC on the outskirts of Stony Point, NY. The Gate Hill Cooperative, also known as The Land, became an outcropping of Black Mountain College’s experimental ethos. Students and faculty including John Cage, M.C. Richards, David Tudor, Karen Karnes, David Weinrib, Stan VanDerBeek, and Patsy Lynch Wood shaped Gate Hill as founding members of the community. Vera B. Williams raised her three children at Gate Hill while continuing to make work.

The early Gate Hill era represented an especially creative phase for the BMC group. For Williams, this period saw the creation of 76 covers for Liberation Magazine, a radical, groundbreaking publication. This exhibition will feature some of Williams’ most powerful Liberation covers including a design for the June 1963 edition, which contained the first full publication of MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Williams’ activism work continued throughout her life. As president of PEN’s Children Committee and member of The War Resisters league, she created a wide range of political and educational posters and journal covers. Williams protested the war in Vietnam and nuclear proliferation while supporting women’s causes and racial equality. In 1981, Williams was arrested and spent a month in a federal prison on charges stemming from her political activism.

In her late 40’s, Williams embarked in earnest on her career as a children’s book author and illustrator, a career which garnered the NY Public Library’s recognition of A Chair for My Mother as one of the greatest 100 children’s books of all time. Infinitely curious and always a wanderer at heart, Williams’ personal life was as expansive as her art. In addition to her prolific picture making, Williams started and helped run a Summerhill-based alternative school, canoed the Yukon, and lived alone on a houseboat in Vancouver Harbor. She helped to organize and attended dozens of political demonstrations throughout her adult life.

Her books won many awards including the Caldecott Medal Honor Book for A Chair for My Mother in 1983, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award– Fiction category– for Scooter in 1994, the Jane Addams Honor for Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart in 2002, and the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature in 2009. Her books reflected her values, emphasizing love, compassion, kindness, joy, strength, individuality, and courage.

Images:

Cover of Vera B. Williams’ A Chair for My Mother, published in 1982.

Vera B. Williams, Cover for Liberation Magazine, November 1958.

Virtual | HEROES with Alan Gratz
Feb 22 @ 1:00 pm
online

Join New York Times bestselling author Alan Gratz to hear about his new book, Heroes!

This virtual event is free and will be live streamed on Crowdcast. Please click here to register. If you’re not familiar with Crowdcast, or if you’re a teacher who would like to bring your class to this virtual talk, click here for helpful information on Alan’s website.

PLUS: In-Person Signing at The Hop Ice Cream on Merrimon – February 24: 2 to 4 PM
If you’re in the Asheville area you can also meet Alan in person and get your book(s) signed! This will be Alan’s last in-person appearance in Asheville for a while and we hope to see you there!


Told with the immediacy, high-stakes action, and inventive storytelling that make Alan Gratz one of today’s biggest authors, this riveting look at the attack on Pearl Harbor explores themes of prejudice, power, and what it truly means to be a hero. Plus: The book ends with an all-original, 10-page black & white comic that brings to life the comic book idea that Frank and Stanley brainstorm in the novel. The comic is written by Alan Gratz and illustrated by Judit Tondora.

Alan Gratz is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of nineteen novels and graphic novels for young readers, including Two DegreesCaptain America: The Ghost Army, Ground ZeroRefugee, Allies, Prisoner B-3087, and Ban This Book. A Knoxville, Tennessee native, Alan is now a full-time writer living in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife and daughter. Learn more about him online at www.alangratz.com.


Malaprop’s is proud to be Alan Gratz’s home bookstore and we thank you for purchasing his books from us! You may also support our work by purchasing a gift card or making a donation of any amount below. Thank you!

Friday, February 23, 2024
Vera B. Williams / STORIES Eight Decades of Politics and Picture Making
Feb 23 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center

 

Exhibition and Public Programming

Vera B. Williams, an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, started making pictures almost as soon as she could walk. She studied at Black Mountain College in a time where summer institutes were held with classes taught by John Cage and Merce Cunningham. Williams studied under the Bauhaus luminary Josef Albers and went on to make art for the rest of her life. At the time of her death, The New York Times wrote: “Her illustrations, known for bold colors and a style reminiscent of folk art, were praised by reviewers for their great tenderness and crackling vitality.” Despite numerous awards and recognition for her children’s books, much of her wider life and work remains unexplored. This retrospective will showcase the complete range of Williams’ life and work. It will highlight her time at Black Mountain College, her political activism, and her establishment, with Paul Williams, of an influential yet little-known artist community, in addition to her work as an author and illustrator.

Author and illustrator of 17 children’s books, including Caldecott medal winner, A Chair for My Mother, Vera B. Williams always had a passion for the arts. Williams grew up in the Bronx, NY, and in 1936, when she was nine years old, one of her paintings, called Yentas, opens a new window, was included in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. While Williams is widely known for her children’s books today, this exhibition’s expansive scope highlights unexplored aspects of her artistic practice and eight decades of life. From groundbreaking, powerful covers for Liberation Magazine, to Peace calendar collaborations with writer activist Grace Paley, to scenic sketches for Julian Beck and Judith Malina’s Living Theater, to hundreds of late life “Aging and Illness” cartoons sketches and doodles, Vera never sat still.

Williams arrived at Black Mountain College in 1945. While there, she embraced all aspects of living, working, and learning in the intensely creative college community. She was at BMC during a particularly fertile period, which allowed her to study with faculty members Buckminster Fuller and Josef Albers, and to participate in the famed summer sessions with John Cage, Merce Cunningham, M.C. Richards, and Robert Rauschenberg. In 1948, she graduated with Josef Albers as her advisor and sculptor Richard Lippold as her outside examiner. Forever one of the College’s shining stars, Vera graduated from BMC with just six semesters of coursework, at only twenty-one years old. She continued to visit BMC for years afterward, staying deeply involved with the artistic community that BMC incubated.

Anticipating the eventual closure of BMC, Williams, alongside her husband Paul Williams and a group of influential former BMC figures, founded The Gate Hill Cooperative Artists community located 30 miles north of NYC on the outskirts of Stony Point, NY. The Gate Hill Cooperative, also known as The Land, became an outcropping of Black Mountain College’s experimental ethos. Students and faculty including John Cage, M.C. Richards, David Tudor, Karen Karnes, David Weinrib, Stan VanDerBeek, and Patsy Lynch Wood shaped Gate Hill as founding members of the community. Vera B. Williams raised her three children at Gate Hill while continuing to make work.

The early Gate Hill era represented an especially creative phase for the BMC group. For Williams, this period saw the creation of 76 covers for Liberation Magazine, a radical, groundbreaking publication. This exhibition will feature some of Williams’ most powerful Liberation covers including a design for the June 1963 edition, which contained the first full publication of MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Williams’ activism work continued throughout her life. As president of PEN’s Children Committee and member of The War Resisters league, she created a wide range of political and educational posters and journal covers. Williams protested the war in Vietnam and nuclear proliferation while supporting women’s causes and racial equality. In 1981, Williams was arrested and spent a month in a federal prison on charges stemming from her political activism.

In her late 40’s, Williams embarked in earnest on her career as a children’s book author and illustrator, a career which garnered the NY Public Library’s recognition of A Chair for My Mother as one of the greatest 100 children’s books of all time. Infinitely curious and always a wanderer at heart, Williams’ personal life was as expansive as her art. In addition to her prolific picture making, Williams started and helped run a Summerhill-based alternative school, canoed the Yukon, and lived alone on a houseboat in Vancouver Harbor. She helped to organize and attended dozens of political demonstrations throughout her adult life.

Her books won many awards including the Caldecott Medal Honor Book for A Chair for My Mother in 1983, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award– Fiction category– for Scooter in 1994, the Jane Addams Honor for Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart in 2002, and the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature in 2009. Her books reflected her values, emphasizing love, compassion, kindness, joy, strength, individuality, and courage.

Images:

Cover of Vera B. Williams’ A Chair for My Mother, published in 1982.

Vera B. Williams, Cover for Liberation Magazine, November 1958.

Saturday, February 24, 2024
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Free Books for Children ages 0-5
Feb 24 all-day
online w/ Literacy Together

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library impacts the pre­-literacy skills and school readiness of children under the age of 5 in Buncombe County. The program mails a new, free, age-appropriate book to registered children each month until they turn five years old. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library creates a home library of up to 60 books and instills a love of books and reading from an early age. If you have any questions about the program, please send an email to [email protected].

A national panel of educators selects the Imagination Library titles, which include: The Little Engine that Could, Last Stop on Market Street, Violet the Pilot, As an Oak Tree Grows, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Llama Llama Red Pajama, Look Out Kindergarten, here I come, and many more (take a look at all the titles).

Register your child now!

Program Launch and Expansions

Literacy Together became a Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library affiliate in November 2015 with support from the Buncombe Partnership for Children. Through this program, registered children in Buncombe County receive a free book in the mail each month. Their parents also have the opportunity to attend workshops to learn how to build their children’s early literacy skills. Parents in need of literacy assistance are encouraged to receive tutoring through Literacy Together’s adult programming.

The program served 200 children during the 2015/16 fiscal year. The program expanded to serve 400 children in July 2016, and 600 in August 2017. In July 2018, capacity increased to 1,900 thanks to a special allocation in the North Carolina state budget. We’re now serving 4,600 kids in Buncombe County.  

Vera B. Williams / STORIES Eight Decades of Politics and Picture Making
Feb 24 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center

 

Exhibition and Public Programming

Vera B. Williams, an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, started making pictures almost as soon as she could walk. She studied at Black Mountain College in a time where summer institutes were held with classes taught by John Cage and Merce Cunningham. Williams studied under the Bauhaus luminary Josef Albers and went on to make art for the rest of her life. At the time of her death, The New York Times wrote: “Her illustrations, known for bold colors and a style reminiscent of folk art, were praised by reviewers for their great tenderness and crackling vitality.” Despite numerous awards and recognition for her children’s books, much of her wider life and work remains unexplored. This retrospective will showcase the complete range of Williams’ life and work. It will highlight her time at Black Mountain College, her political activism, and her establishment, with Paul Williams, of an influential yet little-known artist community, in addition to her work as an author and illustrator.

Author and illustrator of 17 children’s books, including Caldecott medal winner, A Chair for My Mother, Vera B. Williams always had a passion for the arts. Williams grew up in the Bronx, NY, and in 1936, when she was nine years old, one of her paintings, called Yentas, opens a new window, was included in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. While Williams is widely known for her children’s books today, this exhibition’s expansive scope highlights unexplored aspects of her artistic practice and eight decades of life. From groundbreaking, powerful covers for Liberation Magazine, to Peace calendar collaborations with writer activist Grace Paley, to scenic sketches for Julian Beck and Judith Malina’s Living Theater, to hundreds of late life “Aging and Illness” cartoons sketches and doodles, Vera never sat still.

Williams arrived at Black Mountain College in 1945. While there, she embraced all aspects of living, working, and learning in the intensely creative college community. She was at BMC during a particularly fertile period, which allowed her to study with faculty members Buckminster Fuller and Josef Albers, and to participate in the famed summer sessions with John Cage, Merce Cunningham, M.C. Richards, and Robert Rauschenberg. In 1948, she graduated with Josef Albers as her advisor and sculptor Richard Lippold as her outside examiner. Forever one of the College’s shining stars, Vera graduated from BMC with just six semesters of coursework, at only twenty-one years old. She continued to visit BMC for years afterward, staying deeply involved with the artistic community that BMC incubated.

Anticipating the eventual closure of BMC, Williams, alongside her husband Paul Williams and a group of influential former BMC figures, founded The Gate Hill Cooperative Artists community located 30 miles north of NYC on the outskirts of Stony Point, NY. The Gate Hill Cooperative, also known as The Land, became an outcropping of Black Mountain College’s experimental ethos. Students and faculty including John Cage, M.C. Richards, David Tudor, Karen Karnes, David Weinrib, Stan VanDerBeek, and Patsy Lynch Wood shaped Gate Hill as founding members of the community. Vera B. Williams raised her three children at Gate Hill while continuing to make work.

The early Gate Hill era represented an especially creative phase for the BMC group. For Williams, this period saw the creation of 76 covers for Liberation Magazine, a radical, groundbreaking publication. This exhibition will feature some of Williams’ most powerful Liberation covers including a design for the June 1963 edition, which contained the first full publication of MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Williams’ activism work continued throughout her life. As president of PEN’s Children Committee and member of The War Resisters league, she created a wide range of political and educational posters and journal covers. Williams protested the war in Vietnam and nuclear proliferation while supporting women’s causes and racial equality. In 1981, Williams was arrested and spent a month in a federal prison on charges stemming from her political activism.

In her late 40’s, Williams embarked in earnest on her career as a children’s book author and illustrator, a career which garnered the NY Public Library’s recognition of A Chair for My Mother as one of the greatest 100 children’s books of all time. Infinitely curious and always a wanderer at heart, Williams’ personal life was as expansive as her art. In addition to her prolific picture making, Williams started and helped run a Summerhill-based alternative school, canoed the Yukon, and lived alone on a houseboat in Vancouver Harbor. She helped to organize and attended dozens of political demonstrations throughout her adult life.

Her books won many awards including the Caldecott Medal Honor Book for A Chair for My Mother in 1983, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award– Fiction category– for Scooter in 1994, the Jane Addams Honor for Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart in 2002, and the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature in 2009. Her books reflected her values, emphasizing love, compassion, kindness, joy, strength, individuality, and courage.

Images:

Cover of Vera B. Williams’ A Chair for My Mother, published in 1982.

Vera B. Williams, Cover for Liberation Magazine, November 1958.

Off-Site | Book Signing with Alan Gratz
Feb 24 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
The Hop Ice Cream

Join us at The Hop Ice Cream (and Pop Bubble Tea) for an exciting drop-in signing and meet & greet with Alan Gratz as he signs his new book HEROES, and others! This will be Alan’s last in-person appearance in Asheville for a while and we hope you can stop by.

Books will be available to purchase on site in addition to delicious ice cream and bubble tea.

Sunday, February 25, 2024
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Free Books for Children ages 0-5
Feb 25 all-day
online w/ Literacy Together

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library impacts the pre­-literacy skills and school readiness of children under the age of 5 in Buncombe County. The program mails a new, free, age-appropriate book to registered children each month until they turn five years old. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library creates a home library of up to 60 books and instills a love of books and reading from an early age. If you have any questions about the program, please send an email to [email protected].

A national panel of educators selects the Imagination Library titles, which include: The Little Engine that Could, Last Stop on Market Street, Violet the Pilot, As an Oak Tree Grows, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Llama Llama Red Pajama, Look Out Kindergarten, here I come, and many more (take a look at all the titles).

Register your child now!

Program Launch and Expansions

Literacy Together became a Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library affiliate in November 2015 with support from the Buncombe Partnership for Children. Through this program, registered children in Buncombe County receive a free book in the mail each month. Their parents also have the opportunity to attend workshops to learn how to build their children’s early literacy skills. Parents in need of literacy assistance are encouraged to receive tutoring through Literacy Together’s adult programming.

The program served 200 children during the 2015/16 fiscal year. The program expanded to serve 400 children in July 2016, and 600 in August 2017. In July 2018, capacity increased to 1,900 thanks to a special allocation in the North Carolina state budget. We’re now serving 4,600 kids in Buncombe County.  

Monday, February 26, 2024
Vera B. Williams / STORIES Eight Decades of Politics and Picture Making
Feb 26 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center

 

Exhibition and Public Programming

Vera B. Williams, an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, started making pictures almost as soon as she could walk. She studied at Black Mountain College in a time where summer institutes were held with classes taught by John Cage and Merce Cunningham. Williams studied under the Bauhaus luminary Josef Albers and went on to make art for the rest of her life. At the time of her death, The New York Times wrote: “Her illustrations, known for bold colors and a style reminiscent of folk art, were praised by reviewers for their great tenderness and crackling vitality.” Despite numerous awards and recognition for her children’s books, much of her wider life and work remains unexplored. This retrospective will showcase the complete range of Williams’ life and work. It will highlight her time at Black Mountain College, her political activism, and her establishment, with Paul Williams, of an influential yet little-known artist community, in addition to her work as an author and illustrator.

Author and illustrator of 17 children’s books, including Caldecott medal winner, A Chair for My Mother, Vera B. Williams always had a passion for the arts. Williams grew up in the Bronx, NY, and in 1936, when she was nine years old, one of her paintings, called Yentas, opens a new window, was included in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. While Williams is widely known for her children’s books today, this exhibition’s expansive scope highlights unexplored aspects of her artistic practice and eight decades of life. From groundbreaking, powerful covers for Liberation Magazine, to Peace calendar collaborations with writer activist Grace Paley, to scenic sketches for Julian Beck and Judith Malina’s Living Theater, to hundreds of late life “Aging and Illness” cartoons sketches and doodles, Vera never sat still.

Williams arrived at Black Mountain College in 1945. While there, she embraced all aspects of living, working, and learning in the intensely creative college community. She was at BMC during a particularly fertile period, which allowed her to study with faculty members Buckminster Fuller and Josef Albers, and to participate in the famed summer sessions with John Cage, Merce Cunningham, M.C. Richards, and Robert Rauschenberg. In 1948, she graduated with Josef Albers as her advisor and sculptor Richard Lippold as her outside examiner. Forever one of the College’s shining stars, Vera graduated from BMC with just six semesters of coursework, at only twenty-one years old. She continued to visit BMC for years afterward, staying deeply involved with the artistic community that BMC incubated.

Anticipating the eventual closure of BMC, Williams, alongside her husband Paul Williams and a group of influential former BMC figures, founded The Gate Hill Cooperative Artists community located 30 miles north of NYC on the outskirts of Stony Point, NY. The Gate Hill Cooperative, also known as The Land, became an outcropping of Black Mountain College’s experimental ethos. Students and faculty including John Cage, M.C. Richards, David Tudor, Karen Karnes, David Weinrib, Stan VanDerBeek, and Patsy Lynch Wood shaped Gate Hill as founding members of the community. Vera B. Williams raised her three children at Gate Hill while continuing to make work.

The early Gate Hill era represented an especially creative phase for the BMC group. For Williams, this period saw the creation of 76 covers for Liberation Magazine, a radical, groundbreaking publication. This exhibition will feature some of Williams’ most powerful Liberation covers including a design for the June 1963 edition, which contained the first full publication of MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Williams’ activism work continued throughout her life. As president of PEN’s Children Committee and member of The War Resisters league, she created a wide range of political and educational posters and journal covers. Williams protested the war in Vietnam and nuclear proliferation while supporting women’s causes and racial equality. In 1981, Williams was arrested and spent a month in a federal prison on charges stemming from her political activism.

In her late 40’s, Williams embarked in earnest on her career as a children’s book author and illustrator, a career which garnered the NY Public Library’s recognition of A Chair for My Mother as one of the greatest 100 children’s books of all time. Infinitely curious and always a wanderer at heart, Williams’ personal life was as expansive as her art. In addition to her prolific picture making, Williams started and helped run a Summerhill-based alternative school, canoed the Yukon, and lived alone on a houseboat in Vancouver Harbor. She helped to organize and attended dozens of political demonstrations throughout her adult life.

Her books won many awards including the Caldecott Medal Honor Book for A Chair for My Mother in 1983, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award– Fiction category– for Scooter in 1994, the Jane Addams Honor for Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart in 2002, and the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature in 2009. Her books reflected her values, emphasizing love, compassion, kindness, joy, strength, individuality, and courage.

Images:

Cover of Vera B. Williams’ A Chair for My Mother, published in 1982.

Vera B. Williams, Cover for Liberation Magazine, November 1958.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Vera B. Williams / STORIES Eight Decades of Politics and Picture Making
Feb 27 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center

 

Exhibition and Public Programming

Vera B. Williams, an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, started making pictures almost as soon as she could walk. She studied at Black Mountain College in a time where summer institutes were held with classes taught by John Cage and Merce Cunningham. Williams studied under the Bauhaus luminary Josef Albers and went on to make art for the rest of her life. At the time of her death, The New York Times wrote: “Her illustrations, known for bold colors and a style reminiscent of folk art, were praised by reviewers for their great tenderness and crackling vitality.” Despite numerous awards and recognition for her children’s books, much of her wider life and work remains unexplored. This retrospective will showcase the complete range of Williams’ life and work. It will highlight her time at Black Mountain College, her political activism, and her establishment, with Paul Williams, of an influential yet little-known artist community, in addition to her work as an author and illustrator.

Author and illustrator of 17 children’s books, including Caldecott medal winner, A Chair for My Mother, Vera B. Williams always had a passion for the arts. Williams grew up in the Bronx, NY, and in 1936, when she was nine years old, one of her paintings, called Yentas, opens a new window, was included in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. While Williams is widely known for her children’s books today, this exhibition’s expansive scope highlights unexplored aspects of her artistic practice and eight decades of life. From groundbreaking, powerful covers for Liberation Magazine, to Peace calendar collaborations with writer activist Grace Paley, to scenic sketches for Julian Beck and Judith Malina’s Living Theater, to hundreds of late life “Aging and Illness” cartoons sketches and doodles, Vera never sat still.

Williams arrived at Black Mountain College in 1945. While there, she embraced all aspects of living, working, and learning in the intensely creative college community. She was at BMC during a particularly fertile period, which allowed her to study with faculty members Buckminster Fuller and Josef Albers, and to participate in the famed summer sessions with John Cage, Merce Cunningham, M.C. Richards, and Robert Rauschenberg. In 1948, she graduated with Josef Albers as her advisor and sculptor Richard Lippold as her outside examiner. Forever one of the College’s shining stars, Vera graduated from BMC with just six semesters of coursework, at only twenty-one years old. She continued to visit BMC for years afterward, staying deeply involved with the artistic community that BMC incubated.

Anticipating the eventual closure of BMC, Williams, alongside her husband Paul Williams and a group of influential former BMC figures, founded The Gate Hill Cooperative Artists community located 30 miles north of NYC on the outskirts of Stony Point, NY. The Gate Hill Cooperative, also known as The Land, became an outcropping of Black Mountain College’s experimental ethos. Students and faculty including John Cage, M.C. Richards, David Tudor, Karen Karnes, David Weinrib, Stan VanDerBeek, and Patsy Lynch Wood shaped Gate Hill as founding members of the community. Vera B. Williams raised her three children at Gate Hill while continuing to make work.

The early Gate Hill era represented an especially creative phase for the BMC group. For Williams, this period saw the creation of 76 covers for Liberation Magazine, a radical, groundbreaking publication. This exhibition will feature some of Williams’ most powerful Liberation covers including a design for the June 1963 edition, which contained the first full publication of MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Williams’ activism work continued throughout her life. As president of PEN’s Children Committee and member of The War Resisters league, she created a wide range of political and educational posters and journal covers. Williams protested the war in Vietnam and nuclear proliferation while supporting women’s causes and racial equality. In 1981, Williams was arrested and spent a month in a federal prison on charges stemming from her political activism.

In her late 40’s, Williams embarked in earnest on her career as a children’s book author and illustrator, a career which garnered the NY Public Library’s recognition of A Chair for My Mother as one of the greatest 100 children’s books of all time. Infinitely curious and always a wanderer at heart, Williams’ personal life was as expansive as her art. In addition to her prolific picture making, Williams started and helped run a Summerhill-based alternative school, canoed the Yukon, and lived alone on a houseboat in Vancouver Harbor. She helped to organize and attended dozens of political demonstrations throughout her adult life.

Her books won many awards including the Caldecott Medal Honor Book for A Chair for My Mother in 1983, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award– Fiction category– for Scooter in 1994, the Jane Addams Honor for Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart in 2002, and the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature in 2009. Her books reflected her values, emphasizing love, compassion, kindness, joy, strength, individuality, and courage.

Images:

Cover of Vera B. Williams’ A Chair for My Mother, published in 1982.

Vera B. Williams, Cover for Liberation Magazine, November 1958.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Vera B. Williams / STORIES Eight Decades of Politics and Picture Making
Feb 28 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center

 

Exhibition and Public Programming

Vera B. Williams, an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, started making pictures almost as soon as she could walk. She studied at Black Mountain College in a time where summer institutes were held with classes taught by John Cage and Merce Cunningham. Williams studied under the Bauhaus luminary Josef Albers and went on to make art for the rest of her life. At the time of her death, The New York Times wrote: “Her illustrations, known for bold colors and a style reminiscent of folk art, were praised by reviewers for their great tenderness and crackling vitality.” Despite numerous awards and recognition for her children’s books, much of her wider life and work remains unexplored. This retrospective will showcase the complete range of Williams’ life and work. It will highlight her time at Black Mountain College, her political activism, and her establishment, with Paul Williams, of an influential yet little-known artist community, in addition to her work as an author and illustrator.

Author and illustrator of 17 children’s books, including Caldecott medal winner, A Chair for My Mother, Vera B. Williams always had a passion for the arts. Williams grew up in the Bronx, NY, and in 1936, when she was nine years old, one of her paintings, called Yentas, opens a new window, was included in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. While Williams is widely known for her children’s books today, this exhibition’s expansive scope highlights unexplored aspects of her artistic practice and eight decades of life. From groundbreaking, powerful covers for Liberation Magazine, to Peace calendar collaborations with writer activist Grace Paley, to scenic sketches for Julian Beck and Judith Malina’s Living Theater, to hundreds of late life “Aging and Illness” cartoons sketches and doodles, Vera never sat still.

Williams arrived at Black Mountain College in 1945. While there, she embraced all aspects of living, working, and learning in the intensely creative college community. She was at BMC during a particularly fertile period, which allowed her to study with faculty members Buckminster Fuller and Josef Albers, and to participate in the famed summer sessions with John Cage, Merce Cunningham, M.C. Richards, and Robert Rauschenberg. In 1948, she graduated with Josef Albers as her advisor and sculptor Richard Lippold as her outside examiner. Forever one of the College’s shining stars, Vera graduated from BMC with just six semesters of coursework, at only twenty-one years old. She continued to visit BMC for years afterward, staying deeply involved with the artistic community that BMC incubated.

Anticipating the eventual closure of BMC, Williams, alongside her husband Paul Williams and a group of influential former BMC figures, founded The Gate Hill Cooperative Artists community located 30 miles north of NYC on the outskirts of Stony Point, NY. The Gate Hill Cooperative, also known as The Land, became an outcropping of Black Mountain College’s experimental ethos. Students and faculty including John Cage, M.C. Richards, David Tudor, Karen Karnes, David Weinrib, Stan VanDerBeek, and Patsy Lynch Wood shaped Gate Hill as founding members of the community. Vera B. Williams raised her three children at Gate Hill while continuing to make work.

The early Gate Hill era represented an especially creative phase for the BMC group. For Williams, this period saw the creation of 76 covers for Liberation Magazine, a radical, groundbreaking publication. This exhibition will feature some of Williams’ most powerful Liberation covers including a design for the June 1963 edition, which contained the first full publication of MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Williams’ activism work continued throughout her life. As president of PEN’s Children Committee and member of The War Resisters league, she created a wide range of political and educational posters and journal covers. Williams protested the war in Vietnam and nuclear proliferation while supporting women’s causes and racial equality. In 1981, Williams was arrested and spent a month in a federal prison on charges stemming from her political activism.

In her late 40’s, Williams embarked in earnest on her career as a children’s book author and illustrator, a career which garnered the NY Public Library’s recognition of A Chair for My Mother as one of the greatest 100 children’s books of all time. Infinitely curious and always a wanderer at heart, Williams’ personal life was as expansive as her art. In addition to her prolific picture making, Williams started and helped run a Summerhill-based alternative school, canoed the Yukon, and lived alone on a houseboat in Vancouver Harbor. She helped to organize and attended dozens of political demonstrations throughout her adult life.

Her books won many awards including the Caldecott Medal Honor Book for A Chair for My Mother in 1983, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award– Fiction category– for Scooter in 1994, the Jane Addams Honor for Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart in 2002, and the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature in 2009. Her books reflected her values, emphasizing love, compassion, kindness, joy, strength, individuality, and courage.

Images:

Cover of Vera B. Williams’ A Chair for My Mother, published in 1982.

Vera B. Williams, Cover for Liberation Magazine, November 1958.

Thursday, February 29, 2024
Vera B. Williams / STORIES Eight Decades of Politics and Picture Making
Feb 29 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center

 

Exhibition and Public Programming

Vera B. Williams, an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, started making pictures almost as soon as she could walk. She studied at Black Mountain College in a time where summer institutes were held with classes taught by John Cage and Merce Cunningham. Williams studied under the Bauhaus luminary Josef Albers and went on to make art for the rest of her life. At the time of her death, The New York Times wrote: “Her illustrations, known for bold colors and a style reminiscent of folk art, were praised by reviewers for their great tenderness and crackling vitality.” Despite numerous awards and recognition for her children’s books, much of her wider life and work remains unexplored. This retrospective will showcase the complete range of Williams’ life and work. It will highlight her time at Black Mountain College, her political activism, and her establishment, with Paul Williams, of an influential yet little-known artist community, in addition to her work as an author and illustrator.

Author and illustrator of 17 children’s books, including Caldecott medal winner, A Chair for My Mother, Vera B. Williams always had a passion for the arts. Williams grew up in the Bronx, NY, and in 1936, when she was nine years old, one of her paintings, called Yentas, opens a new window, was included in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. While Williams is widely known for her children’s books today, this exhibition’s expansive scope highlights unexplored aspects of her artistic practice and eight decades of life. From groundbreaking, powerful covers for Liberation Magazine, to Peace calendar collaborations with writer activist Grace Paley, to scenic sketches for Julian Beck and Judith Malina’s Living Theater, to hundreds of late life “Aging and Illness” cartoons sketches and doodles, Vera never sat still.

Williams arrived at Black Mountain College in 1945. While there, she embraced all aspects of living, working, and learning in the intensely creative college community. She was at BMC during a particularly fertile period, which allowed her to study with faculty members Buckminster Fuller and Josef Albers, and to participate in the famed summer sessions with John Cage, Merce Cunningham, M.C. Richards, and Robert Rauschenberg. In 1948, she graduated with Josef Albers as her advisor and sculptor Richard Lippold as her outside examiner. Forever one of the College’s shining stars, Vera graduated from BMC with just six semesters of coursework, at only twenty-one years old. She continued to visit BMC for years afterward, staying deeply involved with the artistic community that BMC incubated.

Anticipating the eventual closure of BMC, Williams, alongside her husband Paul Williams and a group of influential former BMC figures, founded The Gate Hill Cooperative Artists community located 30 miles north of NYC on the outskirts of Stony Point, NY. The Gate Hill Cooperative, also known as The Land, became an outcropping of Black Mountain College’s experimental ethos. Students and faculty including John Cage, M.C. Richards, David Tudor, Karen Karnes, David Weinrib, Stan VanDerBeek, and Patsy Lynch Wood shaped Gate Hill as founding members of the community. Vera B. Williams raised her three children at Gate Hill while continuing to make work.

The early Gate Hill era represented an especially creative phase for the BMC group. For Williams, this period saw the creation of 76 covers for Liberation Magazine, a radical, groundbreaking publication. This exhibition will feature some of Williams’ most powerful Liberation covers including a design for the June 1963 edition, which contained the first full publication of MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Williams’ activism work continued throughout her life. As president of PEN’s Children Committee and member of The War Resisters league, she created a wide range of political and educational posters and journal covers. Williams protested the war in Vietnam and nuclear proliferation while supporting women’s causes and racial equality. In 1981, Williams was arrested and spent a month in a federal prison on charges stemming from her political activism.

In her late 40’s, Williams embarked in earnest on her career as a children’s book author and illustrator, a career which garnered the NY Public Library’s recognition of A Chair for My Mother as one of the greatest 100 children’s books of all time. Infinitely curious and always a wanderer at heart, Williams’ personal life was as expansive as her art. In addition to her prolific picture making, Williams started and helped run a Summerhill-based alternative school, canoed the Yukon, and lived alone on a houseboat in Vancouver Harbor. She helped to organize and attended dozens of political demonstrations throughout her adult life.

Her books won many awards including the Caldecott Medal Honor Book for A Chair for My Mother in 1983, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award– Fiction category– for Scooter in 1994, the Jane Addams Honor for Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart in 2002, and the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature in 2009. Her books reflected her values, emphasizing love, compassion, kindness, joy, strength, individuality, and courage.

Images:

Cover of Vera B. Williams’ A Chair for My Mother, published in 1982.

Vera B. Williams, Cover for Liberation Magazine, November 1958.

Jason Reynolds – Look Both Ways: Progress And Resistance In Creating Equitable Education
Feb 29 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
AB Tech Conference Center

Off-Site TICKETED | ACSF Presents: Jason Reynolds – Look Both Ways: Progress and Resistance in Creating Equitable Education

Asheville City Schools Foundation presents:
Jason Reynolds – Look Both Ways: Progress and Resistance in Creating Equitable Education

Join Asheville City Schools Foundation for an evening with Jason Reynolds and Asheville High/ SILSA high school student artists as they explore Looking Both Ways.

TICKETS: CLICK HERE to purchase on the ACS website and find more details.

Two ticket options:
~ $26.00 (1 Attendee)
~ $78.00 (1 Attendee) Includes a copy of “Look Both Ways” to be signed by Jason Reynolds.

Doors will open at 6:15 PM for our 6:30 student art show entitled Look Both Ways: How You See Me and How I See Myself. Participants are invited to stroll the art show while enjoying complimentary ice cream from The Hop and popcorn from Poppy.

At 7 PM, our first speakers will be student winners from our spoken word contest followed by a 40 minute presentation and reading from Jason Reynolds and a 20 minute Q&A.
There will be a book signing at 8:15 PM for those who purchased the event/book signing ticket which will include the Jason Reynolds book “Look Both Ways”.
 (No other books will be signed.)

Friday, March 1, 2024
Vera B. Williams / STORIES Eight Decades of Politics and Picture Making
Mar 1 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center

 

Exhibition and Public Programming

Vera B. Williams, an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, started making pictures almost as soon as she could walk. She studied at Black Mountain College in a time where summer institutes were held with classes taught by John Cage and Merce Cunningham. Williams studied under the Bauhaus luminary Josef Albers and went on to make art for the rest of her life. At the time of her death, The New York Times wrote: “Her illustrations, known for bold colors and a style reminiscent of folk art, were praised by reviewers for their great tenderness and crackling vitality.” Despite numerous awards and recognition for her children’s books, much of her wider life and work remains unexplored. This retrospective will showcase the complete range of Williams’ life and work. It will highlight her time at Black Mountain College, her political activism, and her establishment, with Paul Williams, of an influential yet little-known artist community, in addition to her work as an author and illustrator.

Author and illustrator of 17 children’s books, including Caldecott medal winner, A Chair for My Mother, Vera B. Williams always had a passion for the arts. Williams grew up in the Bronx, NY, and in 1936, when she was nine years old, one of her paintings, called Yentas, opens a new window, was included in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. While Williams is widely known for her children’s books today, this exhibition’s expansive scope highlights unexplored aspects of her artistic practice and eight decades of life. From groundbreaking, powerful covers for Liberation Magazine, to Peace calendar collaborations with writer activist Grace Paley, to scenic sketches for Julian Beck and Judith Malina’s Living Theater, to hundreds of late life “Aging and Illness” cartoons sketches and doodles, Vera never sat still.

Williams arrived at Black Mountain College in 1945. While there, she embraced all aspects of living, working, and learning in the intensely creative college community. She was at BMC during a particularly fertile period, which allowed her to study with faculty members Buckminster Fuller and Josef Albers, and to participate in the famed summer sessions with John Cage, Merce Cunningham, M.C. Richards, and Robert Rauschenberg. In 1948, she graduated with Josef Albers as her advisor and sculptor Richard Lippold as her outside examiner. Forever one of the College’s shining stars, Vera graduated from BMC with just six semesters of coursework, at only twenty-one years old. She continued to visit BMC for years afterward, staying deeply involved with the artistic community that BMC incubated.

Anticipating the eventual closure of BMC, Williams, alongside her husband Paul Williams and a group of influential former BMC figures, founded The Gate Hill Cooperative Artists community located 30 miles north of NYC on the outskirts of Stony Point, NY. The Gate Hill Cooperative, also known as The Land, became an outcropping of Black Mountain College’s experimental ethos. Students and faculty including John Cage, M.C. Richards, David Tudor, Karen Karnes, David Weinrib, Stan VanDerBeek, and Patsy Lynch Wood shaped Gate Hill as founding members of the community. Vera B. Williams raised her three children at Gate Hill while continuing to make work.

The early Gate Hill era represented an especially creative phase for the BMC group. For Williams, this period saw the creation of 76 covers for Liberation Magazine, a radical, groundbreaking publication. This exhibition will feature some of Williams’ most powerful Liberation covers including a design for the June 1963 edition, which contained the first full publication of MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Williams’ activism work continued throughout her life. As president of PEN’s Children Committee and member of The War Resisters league, she created a wide range of political and educational posters and journal covers. Williams protested the war in Vietnam and nuclear proliferation while supporting women’s causes and racial equality. In 1981, Williams was arrested and spent a month in a federal prison on charges stemming from her political activism.

In her late 40’s, Williams embarked in earnest on her career as a children’s book author and illustrator, a career which garnered the NY Public Library’s recognition of A Chair for My Mother as one of the greatest 100 children’s books of all time. Infinitely curious and always a wanderer at heart, Williams’ personal life was as expansive as her art. In addition to her prolific picture making, Williams started and helped run a Summerhill-based alternative school, canoed the Yukon, and lived alone on a houseboat in Vancouver Harbor. She helped to organize and attended dozens of political demonstrations throughout her adult life.

Her books won many awards including the Caldecott Medal Honor Book for A Chair for My Mother in 1983, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award– Fiction category– for Scooter in 1994, the Jane Addams Honor for Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart in 2002, and the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature in 2009. Her books reflected her values, emphasizing love, compassion, kindness, joy, strength, individuality, and courage.

Images:

Cover of Vera B. Williams’ A Chair for My Mother, published in 1982.

Vera B. Williams, Cover for Liberation Magazine, November 1958.

Saturday, March 2, 2024
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Free Books for Children ages 0-5
Mar 2 all-day
online w/ Literacy Together

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library impacts the pre­-literacy skills and school readiness of children under the age of 5 in Buncombe County. The program mails a new, free, age-appropriate book to registered children each month until they turn five years old. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library creates a home library of up to 60 books and instills a love of books and reading from an early age. If you have any questions about the program, please send an email to [email protected].

A national panel of educators selects the Imagination Library titles, which include: The Little Engine that Could, Last Stop on Market Street, Violet the Pilot, As an Oak Tree Grows, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Llama Llama Red Pajama, Look Out Kindergarten, here I come, and many more (take a look at all the titles).

Register your child now!

Program Launch and Expansions

Literacy Together became a Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library affiliate in November 2015 with support from the Buncombe Partnership for Children. Through this program, registered children in Buncombe County receive a free book in the mail each month. Their parents also have the opportunity to attend workshops to learn how to build their children’s early literacy skills. Parents in need of literacy assistance are encouraged to receive tutoring through Literacy Together’s adult programming.

The program served 200 children during the 2015/16 fiscal year. The program expanded to serve 400 children in July 2016, and 600 in August 2017. In July 2018, capacity increased to 1,900 thanks to a special allocation in the North Carolina state budget. We’re now serving 4,600 kids in Buncombe County.  

Vera B. Williams / STORIES Eight Decades of Politics and Picture Making
Mar 2 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center

 

Exhibition and Public Programming

Vera B. Williams, an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, started making pictures almost as soon as she could walk. She studied at Black Mountain College in a time where summer institutes were held with classes taught by John Cage and Merce Cunningham. Williams studied under the Bauhaus luminary Josef Albers and went on to make art for the rest of her life. At the time of her death, The New York Times wrote: “Her illustrations, known for bold colors and a style reminiscent of folk art, were praised by reviewers for their great tenderness and crackling vitality.” Despite numerous awards and recognition for her children’s books, much of her wider life and work remains unexplored. This retrospective will showcase the complete range of Williams’ life and work. It will highlight her time at Black Mountain College, her political activism, and her establishment, with Paul Williams, of an influential yet little-known artist community, in addition to her work as an author and illustrator.

Author and illustrator of 17 children’s books, including Caldecott medal winner, A Chair for My Mother, Vera B. Williams always had a passion for the arts. Williams grew up in the Bronx, NY, and in 1936, when she was nine years old, one of her paintings, called Yentas, opens a new window, was included in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. While Williams is widely known for her children’s books today, this exhibition’s expansive scope highlights unexplored aspects of her artistic practice and eight decades of life. From groundbreaking, powerful covers for Liberation Magazine, to Peace calendar collaborations with writer activist Grace Paley, to scenic sketches for Julian Beck and Judith Malina’s Living Theater, to hundreds of late life “Aging and Illness” cartoons sketches and doodles, Vera never sat still.

Williams arrived at Black Mountain College in 1945. While there, she embraced all aspects of living, working, and learning in the intensely creative college community. She was at BMC during a particularly fertile period, which allowed her to study with faculty members Buckminster Fuller and Josef Albers, and to participate in the famed summer sessions with John Cage, Merce Cunningham, M.C. Richards, and Robert Rauschenberg. In 1948, she graduated with Josef Albers as her advisor and sculptor Richard Lippold as her outside examiner. Forever one of the College’s shining stars, Vera graduated from BMC with just six semesters of coursework, at only twenty-one years old. She continued to visit BMC for years afterward, staying deeply involved with the artistic community that BMC incubated.

Anticipating the eventual closure of BMC, Williams, alongside her husband Paul Williams and a group of influential former BMC figures, founded The Gate Hill Cooperative Artists community located 30 miles north of NYC on the outskirts of Stony Point, NY. The Gate Hill Cooperative, also known as The Land, became an outcropping of Black Mountain College’s experimental ethos. Students and faculty including John Cage, M.C. Richards, David Tudor, Karen Karnes, David Weinrib, Stan VanDerBeek, and Patsy Lynch Wood shaped Gate Hill as founding members of the community. Vera B. Williams raised her three children at Gate Hill while continuing to make work.

The early Gate Hill era represented an especially creative phase for the BMC group. For Williams, this period saw the creation of 76 covers for Liberation Magazine, a radical, groundbreaking publication. This exhibition will feature some of Williams’ most powerful Liberation covers including a design for the June 1963 edition, which contained the first full publication of MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Williams’ activism work continued throughout her life. As president of PEN’s Children Committee and member of The War Resisters league, she created a wide range of political and educational posters and journal covers. Williams protested the war in Vietnam and nuclear proliferation while supporting women’s causes and racial equality. In 1981, Williams was arrested and spent a month in a federal prison on charges stemming from her political activism.

In her late 40’s, Williams embarked in earnest on her career as a children’s book author and illustrator, a career which garnered the NY Public Library’s recognition of A Chair for My Mother as one of the greatest 100 children’s books of all time. Infinitely curious and always a wanderer at heart, Williams’ personal life was as expansive as her art. In addition to her prolific picture making, Williams started and helped run a Summerhill-based alternative school, canoed the Yukon, and lived alone on a houseboat in Vancouver Harbor. She helped to organize and attended dozens of political demonstrations throughout her adult life.

Her books won many awards including the Caldecott Medal Honor Book for A Chair for My Mother in 1983, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award– Fiction category– for Scooter in 1994, the Jane Addams Honor for Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart in 2002, and the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature in 2009. Her books reflected her values, emphasizing love, compassion, kindness, joy, strength, individuality, and courage.

Images:

Cover of Vera B. Williams’ A Chair for My Mother, published in 1982.

Vera B. Williams, Cover for Liberation Magazine, November 1958.

Sunday, March 3, 2024
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Free Books for Children ages 0-5
Mar 3 all-day
online w/ Literacy Together

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library impacts the pre­-literacy skills and school readiness of children under the age of 5 in Buncombe County. The program mails a new, free, age-appropriate book to registered children each month until they turn five years old. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library creates a home library of up to 60 books and instills a love of books and reading from an early age. If you have any questions about the program, please send an email to [email protected].

A national panel of educators selects the Imagination Library titles, which include: The Little Engine that Could, Last Stop on Market Street, Violet the Pilot, As an Oak Tree Grows, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Llama Llama Red Pajama, Look Out Kindergarten, here I come, and many more (take a look at all the titles).

Register your child now!

Program Launch and Expansions

Literacy Together became a Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library affiliate in November 2015 with support from the Buncombe Partnership for Children. Through this program, registered children in Buncombe County receive a free book in the mail each month. Their parents also have the opportunity to attend workshops to learn how to build their children’s early literacy skills. Parents in need of literacy assistance are encouraged to receive tutoring through Literacy Together’s adult programming.

The program served 200 children during the 2015/16 fiscal year. The program expanded to serve 400 children in July 2016, and 600 in August 2017. In July 2018, capacity increased to 1,900 thanks to a special allocation in the North Carolina state budget. We’re now serving 4,600 kids in Buncombe County.  

Hybrid | Poet Quartet: Lola Haskin, Anna Laura Reeve, Courtney LeBlanc, Willie Edward Taylor Carver Jr.
Mar 3 @ 4:30 pm
Malaprop's Bookstore

Join us for our monthly poetry reading series coordinated by Mildred Barya. This month’s event features Anna Laura Reeve, Lola Haskins, Courtney LeBlanc, and Willie Edward Taylor Carver Jr.

This is a hybrid event with limited in-store seating and the option to attend online. The event is free but registration is required for both in-person and virtual attendance.

Please click here to register for the VIRTUAL event. The link required to attend will be emailed to registrants prior to the event.

Please click here to register for the IN-PERSON event. Note the important event details on the RSVP form.

All featured books will be available for purchase at the event. This event also includes a book signing.

If you would like a signed book but can’t attend in person, you may order a signed copy in advance.

If you would like to have your book personalized, please order online or call the store at least two hours before the start of the event. When ordering online, use the comments field to provide a name for personalization, e.g. “To Paul.” NOTE: We do our best to get books personalized when requested but personalization is not guaranteed.

If you decide to attend and to purchase books, we ask that you purchase from Malaprop’s. When you do this you make it possible for us to continue hosting author events and you keep more dollars in our community. You may also support our work by purchasing a gift card or making a donation of any amount below. Thank you!


 

Willie Edward Taylor Carver Jr. holds degrees in French and English from Morehead State University, where he focused his studies on advocacy for students, particularly first generation, Appalachian, and minoritized students. He began his work in eastern Kentucky, later studying and teaching in France. In 2022, Carver was named Kentucky Teacher of the Year and Ambassador to the Kentucky Department of Education, where he created a platform of inclusion and advocacy for LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and Appalachian students. His work has been published in Kentucky Teacher, Education Week, and elsewhere. Carver’s story has been featured on Good Morning America, NBC, PBS, NPR, and other news outlets. For more, visit https://williecarver.com

Lola Haskins’ poetry has appeared in The Atlantic, Christian Science Monitor, Georgia Review, Southern Review, and elsewhere. Homelight (Charlotte Lit Press, 2023), her 14th collection, was named the Southern Literary Review 2024 Poetry Book of the Year. Asylum (University of Pittsburgh, 2019), was featured in the NYT Magazine. Past honors include the Iowa Poetry Prize, two NEA fellowships, two Florida Book Awards, narrative poetry prizes from Southern Poetry Review and New England Poetry Review. She serves as Honorary Chancellor for the Florida State Poets Association. For more, visit https://www.lolahaskins.com

Anna Laura Reeve is the author of Reaching the Shore of the Sea of Fertility (Belle Point Press, 2023). Winner of the 2022 Adrienne Rich Award for Poetry, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, Salamander, Terrain.org, and others. She was a finalist in the 2023 Greg Grummer Poetry Contest and the 2022 Ron Rash Award. She lives and gardens near the Tennessee Overhill region, traditional land of the Eastern Cherokee. For more, visit https://www.annalaurareeve.com

Courtney LeBlanc is the author of the full-length collections Her Whole Bright Life (winner of the Jack McCarthy Book Prize); Exquisite Bloody, Beating Heart; and Beautiful & Full of Monsters. She is the Arlington County Poet Laureate and the founder and editor-in-chief of Riot in Your Throat, an independent poetry press. She loves nail polish, tattoos, and a soy latte each morning. Find her online at www.courtneyleblanc.com.

Mildred Kiconco Barya is a writer from Uganda and the author of four full-length poetry collections, most recently The Animals of My Earth School released by Terrapin Books, 2023. Her prose, hybrids, and poems have appeared in Shenandoah, Joyland, The Cincinnati Review, Tin House, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. She’s now working on a collection of creative nonfiction, and her essay, “Being Here in This Body”, won the 2020 Linda Flowers Literary Award and was published in the North Carolina Literary Review. Barya teaches creative writing and literature at UNC-Asheville, serves on the boards of African Writers Trust and Story Parlor, and coordinates the Poetrio Reading events at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café. She blogs at www.mildredbarya.com.

Monday, March 4, 2024
Vera B. Williams / STORIES Eight Decades of Politics and Picture Making
Mar 4 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center

 

Exhibition and Public Programming

Vera B. Williams, an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, started making pictures almost as soon as she could walk. She studied at Black Mountain College in a time where summer institutes were held with classes taught by John Cage and Merce Cunningham. Williams studied under the Bauhaus luminary Josef Albers and went on to make art for the rest of her life. At the time of her death, The New York Times wrote: “Her illustrations, known for bold colors and a style reminiscent of folk art, were praised by reviewers for their great tenderness and crackling vitality.” Despite numerous awards and recognition for her children’s books, much of her wider life and work remains unexplored. This retrospective will showcase the complete range of Williams’ life and work. It will highlight her time at Black Mountain College, her political activism, and her establishment, with Paul Williams, of an influential yet little-known artist community, in addition to her work as an author and illustrator.

Author and illustrator of 17 children’s books, including Caldecott medal winner, A Chair for My Mother, Vera B. Williams always had a passion for the arts. Williams grew up in the Bronx, NY, and in 1936, when she was nine years old, one of her paintings, called Yentas, opens a new window, was included in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. While Williams is widely known for her children’s books today, this exhibition’s expansive scope highlights unexplored aspects of her artistic practice and eight decades of life. From groundbreaking, powerful covers for Liberation Magazine, to Peace calendar collaborations with writer activist Grace Paley, to scenic sketches for Julian Beck and Judith Malina’s Living Theater, to hundreds of late life “Aging and Illness” cartoons sketches and doodles, Vera never sat still.

Williams arrived at Black Mountain College in 1945. While there, she embraced all aspects of living, working, and learning in the intensely creative college community. She was at BMC during a particularly fertile period, which allowed her to study with faculty members Buckminster Fuller and Josef Albers, and to participate in the famed summer sessions with John Cage, Merce Cunningham, M.C. Richards, and Robert Rauschenberg. In 1948, she graduated with Josef Albers as her advisor and sculptor Richard Lippold as her outside examiner. Forever one of the College’s shining stars, Vera graduated from BMC with just six semesters of coursework, at only twenty-one years old. She continued to visit BMC for years afterward, staying deeply involved with the artistic community that BMC incubated.

Anticipating the eventual closure of BMC, Williams, alongside her husband Paul Williams and a group of influential former BMC figures, founded The Gate Hill Cooperative Artists community located 30 miles north of NYC on the outskirts of Stony Point, NY. The Gate Hill Cooperative, also known as The Land, became an outcropping of Black Mountain College’s experimental ethos. Students and faculty including John Cage, M.C. Richards, David Tudor, Karen Karnes, David Weinrib, Stan VanDerBeek, and Patsy Lynch Wood shaped Gate Hill as founding members of the community. Vera B. Williams raised her three children at Gate Hill while continuing to make work.

The early Gate Hill era represented an especially creative phase for the BMC group. For Williams, this period saw the creation of 76 covers for Liberation Magazine, a radical, groundbreaking publication. This exhibition will feature some of Williams’ most powerful Liberation covers including a design for the June 1963 edition, which contained the first full publication of MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Williams’ activism work continued throughout her life. As president of PEN’s Children Committee and member of The War Resisters league, she created a wide range of political and educational posters and journal covers. Williams protested the war in Vietnam and nuclear proliferation while supporting women’s causes and racial equality. In 1981, Williams was arrested and spent a month in a federal prison on charges stemming from her political activism.

In her late 40’s, Williams embarked in earnest on her career as a children’s book author and illustrator, a career which garnered the NY Public Library’s recognition of A Chair for My Mother as one of the greatest 100 children’s books of all time. Infinitely curious and always a wanderer at heart, Williams’ personal life was as expansive as her art. In addition to her prolific picture making, Williams started and helped run a Summerhill-based alternative school, canoed the Yukon, and lived alone on a houseboat in Vancouver Harbor. She helped to organize and attended dozens of political demonstrations throughout her adult life.

Her books won many awards including the Caldecott Medal Honor Book for A Chair for My Mother in 1983, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award– Fiction category– for Scooter in 1994, the Jane Addams Honor for Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart in 2002, and the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature in 2009. Her books reflected her values, emphasizing love, compassion, kindness, joy, strength, individuality, and courage.

Images:

Cover of Vera B. Williams’ A Chair for My Mother, published in 1982.

Vera B. Williams, Cover for Liberation Magazine, November 1958.