– Watercolor Artist, Author, and Professor Emeritus of Art at Virginia Tech

Ray Kass is an internationally recognized painter whose works reside in many public and private collections. As well as his exhibitions, his publications (reviews, articles and catalogues) on art and artists are numerous.

Founded by Kass in 1983, the Mountain Lake Workshop is a collaborative, community-based art project drawing on the customs, environmental and technological resources of the New River Valley and the Appalachian region. The interdisciplinary character of the workshops has focused on collaborative projects with highly specialized scientific communities in microbiology and super computing. Kass often spends more than two years in study and planning sessions with guest artists and science and technology professionals to develop the various discipline-centered activities that become the strategic basis of each workshop. The strategic development of individual workshops has become integrally related to new projects, and provides the basis for their interconnectedness.

Mountain Lake workshops usually result in exhibitions – some have been widely traveled. Many works from the Mountain Lake workshops have entered the permanent collections of museums worldwide – including the Museum of Modern Art, (NY) The Whitney museum of American Art (NY), The Menil Museum (Houston), and the High Museum (Atlanta).

Artists who have completed several workshops at Mountain Lake include folk-artist Howard Finster (1918-2001), Japanese artist and sculptor Jiro Okura, the late avant-garde composer, writer and artist John Cage (1912- 1992) East Harlem street artist and muralist, James De La Vega, Colorado based eco-artist, Lynn Hull, waste management installation-artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles (official artist in residence of the New York Sanitation Dept.), ceramic artist, poet and author of the seminal book, Centering, M.C. Richards (1916-1999), sculptor in light forms and virtual reality, artist Jackie Matisse Monnier, artist &  Zen-Buddhist art scholar  Stephen Addiss, and  choreographer and dance master, Merce Cunningham(1919-2009), among many others.

More information about Ray Kass and the Mountain Lake Workshop is available at his website: http://www.raykass.com

Ray Kass' publications include:

THE SIGHT OF SILENCE: John Cage’s Complete Watercolors, National Academy, Taubman Museums of Art, University of Virginia Press (2011)

An interview with Jeremy Millar in Every Day is a Good Day: The Visual Art of John Cage, Hayward Publishing, London (2010)

John Cage: Zen Ox-Herding Pictures (with Stephen Addiss), Braziller, NY (2009)

Contributions to Sounds of the Inner Eye: John Cage, Mark Tobey and Morris Graves, Univ. of Washington Press, Seattle and London (2002). Also in German: Klange des Inneren Auges, Kunsthalle Bremen/Beyeler Foundation, Munich (2002)

A critical documentary text in Writings Through John Cage's Music, Poetry, and Art, University of Chicago (1999)

Morris Graves: Vision of the Inner Eye, Braziller, NY (1983)

Ray Kass
Ray Kass in Vienna

Photo image credit: Ian Cobb-Ozanne