and Swannanoa
North Carolina
Loading Events

Upper Gallery at BMCA Displays Woodworks

Monday, April 23 @ 10:00 am - Monday, May 21 @ 5:00 pm

Event Navigation

At Black Mountain Center for the Arts – Upper Gallery.  Until May 18th. Open Monday – Friday 10am-5pm.

Selected works of two men who left a lasting impression on the Warren Wilson community, Dirck Cruser and John Casey.

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 art work, 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.

After marrying his wife Rebecca, he returned to teaching and joined the Warren Wilson College faculty where he was a philosophy professor. He created the Integrative Studies Major, was College Philosopher, and served three years as Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean. Many local people were unaware of his passion for woodworking; he created the large wooden Warren Wilson College sign that greets visitors at the campus’ south entrance. Beloved by students and colleagues, he used his art to explore social outcasts and politics.

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 10am to 5pm Monday through Friday and is located at 225 W. State Street. For more information call 828.669.0930 or visit


Images attached: (below) War Chest by John Casey, and (above) Moon Strand of Dirck Cruser.




Monday, April 23 @ 10:00 am
Monday, May 21 @ 5:00 pm


Black Mountain Center for the Arts
225 West State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711 United States
+ Google Map