Upper Gallery at BMCA Displays Woodworks

War Chest by John Casey

The Black Mountain Center for the Arts is honored to display the work of two men who left a lasting impression on the Warren Wilson community, Dirck Cruser and John Casey, in a show titled Woodworks in its Upper Gallery starting April 20. The show runs through May 18. There will be an opening night reception from 6 – 8 p.m. on April 20.

Dirck Cruser (1940-1996) was a prolific, self-taught abstract artist who worked in a wide range of mediums. He moved to Warren Wilson from Santa Barbara, California
where he made his living as a graphic designer. While in California he began carving wooden shore birds, children’s toys and furniture before creating his first wood sculpture
commission in 1971. After moving to North Carolina, he built a home from several native wood species just outside the campus of Warren Wilson. He is best known locally for
creating Asheville’s first commissioned public artwork, the iconic Energy Loop in 1983.

Controversial at the time of its installation and moved to a new site across from the courthouse in 2009, Energy Loop is made of core-ten steel. In the 90s, Cruser’s focus
shifted toward painting. His artwork has been widely exhibited and he received numerous awards and fellowships. Cruser’s widow Karen and daughter Laura are assisting with the curating of this show.

John Casey (1943-2017) was a free spirit, influential educator and Renaissance man. Prior to joining the Warren Wilson faculty in 1991, he taught at Iowa State
University, Illinois Wesleyan University and the University of Toledo and attended the Art Institute of Chicago. He spent 17 years creating wood sculpture, cabinetry and spiral
staircases, repairing antique furniture and building original furniture, ultimately blending his aesthetic and skill to create art furniture.

A confluence of two talented and inspiring artists from the Swannanoa Valley, Woodworks makes for an intriguing exhibit in Black Mountain. The Black Mountain
Center for the Arts Upper Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and is located at 225 W. State Street. For more information call 828-669-0930 or visit BlackMountainArts.org.

About Shelby Harrell
Shelby Harrell is the editor of the Biltmore Beacon, editor of The Guide arts and entertainment publication and is a staff writer for Mountaineer Publishing. Originally from Asheville, she has worked in journalism for seven years and currently lives in Clyde, NC.