Location, location, location: The Apeiron Reunion will take place 20 minutes
outside of Asheville, NC, at the Montreat Conference Center in Black Mountain,
NC. What makes this locale right for the reunion? First of all, Apeironites Eric
Baden, Benjamin Porter, and Larry White all live in Asheville, and the reunion is a
fulfillment of their long-held desire to host a gathering of all who were connected
with Apeiron. But they all chose to live in that region and in that city for reasons
that anyone can appreciate...
Western North Carolina: This is the highland part of the state, straddling the
Blue Ridge Mountains section of the Appalachian range. Besides the stunningly
beautiful mountain landscape, the region features a rich and enduring heritage in a
variety of arts and crafts including basket weaving, folk art, furniture making,
pottery, dance, and music.
Asheville and environs: Asheville itself is a lovely small city (pop. 85,000)
situated between the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests at an elevation of
2134 feet. It’s part in the artistic history of the region has been especially vital; the
famous Black Mountain College operated close to Asheville from 1933 to 1957,
with faculty that included Josef Abers, John Cage, Merce Cunningham,
Buckminster Fuller – and photographers Aaron Siskind and Harry Callahan –
among many, many others.
In addition, the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway runs through the Asheville area, and
Asheville is the location of the Biltmore Estate, the former residence of George
Vanderbilt. It’s the preeminent regional tourist destination, featuring an elaborate
house and gardens designed to rival those owned by European royalty.
Downtown Asheville is vibrant, eclectic, and eminently walkable, with many
galleries and restaurants. In recent years, the city has received much publicity for
its quality of life and temperate climate. Some of its accolades are: “America’s Top
25 Arts Destinations” (American Style Magazine); “One of the Best Outside
Towns” (Outside Magazine); “The 50 Most Alive Places to Be” (Modern Maturity);
“One of the happiest places in the US” (The Geography of Bliss). And Rolling
Stone magazine called Asheville “the new freak capital of the US” – so apparently
Asheville has something for everyone.
Montreat Conference Center: Our home for the weekend (see photos at top of
page) is just 20 minutes outside of Asheville, in the town of Montreat. At the end of
the scenic Swannanoa Valley and close to Mt. Mitchell (at 6684 feet the highest
mountain east of the Mississippi River), it shares 4500 acres around Lake Susan
with Montreat College. There are 20 trails available for relaxed hiking, and one
can canoe, fish, or pedal boat on the lake. The comfortable multi-building facility
will allow us to have our own dedicated meeting spaces in a building separate
from the one that houses the guest rooms and dining area.