American postmodernist Robert Rauschenberg died last week at the age of 82, leaving behind a body of work containing an estimated 6,000 pieces. After stints in the army, the Kansas City Art Institute and the Académie Julian in Paris, Rauschenberg studied at Black Mountain College, where he thrived under the tutelage of Josef Albers. Rauschenberg split time between Black Mountain and New York City for a few years after graduation, but that’s where the North Carolina connection ends. In later years, he bounced between a Greenwich Village apartment and a pied-a-terre on the Florida island of Captiva.
In cheerier news, the Gateway Gallery in Winston-Salem opens a new show Friday featuring work by Ricky Needham, John Bryan and Ryan Pritts. The Enrichment Center Percussion Ensemble will perform during the reception, which starts at 6 p.m.
The Greensboro Opera Company hired William Swain to serve as general director. He is expected to take the helm in July. Swain prevailed in a candidate pool that included some 40 applicants from around the country.
UNC-TV broadcasts student films from NC School of the Arts on Fridays, and this week’s is “Kilroy Was Here,” directed by Charles Boyles, now a graduate of the school. Karrie Crouse’s “The Tragedy of Glady” shows the same night.
Also at School of the Arts, Doug Church performs “The Voice of Elvis” at Reynolds Auditorium on Saturday; tickets are $18-$38. And on May 25 the Cantata Singers give a free matinee performance in Watson Music Hall.
The folks behind Press 53 posted the results of their first Open Awards on their website, Press53.com. They also opened the floodgates for next year’s competition, setting staggered deadlines for eight categories from flash fiction to novella. You can find those on the website too.
The small publishing house’s founder, Kevin Watson, celebrated his birthday Monday. The lucky few who get the paper on Tuesdays can celebrate with him that night at Tuscany Coffee House in Winston. The rest will just have to wish him well the next time you see him.
The Blue Diamond Gallery in Greensboro hosted a silent auction last week of a painting by Sue Seamon with proceeds benefiting the Triad Youth Jazz Society. Seamon’s exhibit, Faces: Follow the Dream, is on display until the end of the month.
The Weatherspoon Museum in Greensboro holds its Benefactors Choice Event on Wednesday, but if you didn’t already know about it, I wouldn’t bother trying to get in. The event is for deep-pocketed donors only, it is not open to the public.