Kit White '69 Informs, Inspires With Return to Christ School


Kit White '69 Informs, Inspires with Return to Christ School

Like the world at large, much has changed at Christ School in 50 years.

Everyone listened with rapt attention Wednesday as Kit White '69 described his experience as a Greenie. White is a New York artist and a retired college professor who taught for 21 years in Brooklyn.

"Back then, the road from Christ School to Asheville was a two-lane road with nothing on it. It took a half-hour on a school bus to get into town," White recalled during a lunchtime talk to students and faculty.

"The school very much depended on student labor for everything. We had morning and afternoon job periods with jobs like running the furnace. Some of us would drive a dump truck (to a nearby railroad) to fill it with coal. I worked in laundry for three years. Physical labor was very much a part of our lives. The Vietnam War was all we thought about. Several students ahead of me here were drafted and died in Vietnam. The things going on in Washington were not abstract. They were very real."

White came to Christ School from Union, W. Va., and like every other Greenie at the time, lived in the dorms. There were no day students or female faculty members. Seniors were "the enforcers" who policed the dorms and often administered discipline.

After graduation, White would go on to study art at Harvard University where he received his college degree in 1973. He began showing his work in 1977 and authored the book, "101 Things to Learn in Art School" in 2011. Many of White's works were reproduced in a 200-page, fully-illustrated monograph by Carter Ratcliff, "Kit White: Line Into Form," published in 2016.

White and his wife, nationally-known author and writer Andrea Barnet, not only spoke Wednesday at lunch, but spent time in classrooms with Christ School's art and journalism students.

Given today's political climate and technology, White encouraged all Greenies to fight for their sense of commonality.

"There were three television networks when we were your age," White said. "We all listened to the same music. You are the time that you live in. As things change around you, they change you. You may think of yourself as an island of individuality, but you're not. The changes in technology, and the speed with which information moves now, means that you have to work twice as hard. The important thing is that every time something comes your way, be conscious of how you react. Walk through the world awake. Your time is your time."