Wow, well, there are so many reasons that I love the photo program here (I study photography & sculpture), but I’ll narrow it down to these three:
- The Faculty
- The Facilities
- The Courses
1. The photography teachers here are incredible. As you might know, Bennington employs a “teacher as practitioner” model, which basically means that our art teachers are all still working artists. They are actively creating, installing, curating. In addition to this simply being a really cool way to discover new work (Click here to watch an interview with one of our amazing photo teachers, Liz Deschenes, talking about her work in the Whitney Biennial ) it also brings a sort of “real world” insight to each class, which is a really cool way of learning and provides context for making and presenting work. Click to see work by photo teacher Jonathan Kline and visiting photo teacher Elizabeth White.
2. When I think back to when I first visited Bennington, one of the things that stood out most about my tour was seeing the photo facilities, and being blown away by the potential they held. In VAPA we have a traditional B&W group darkroom with three individual enlarger stations, three private darkrooms for processing film, a traditional analog color darkroom (an old school process for sure), and alternative processes darkroom with a taller enlarger for making mural prints as well as bigger trays and sinks for less conventional darkroom techniques (cyanotypes, etc.), a digital “lightroom” equipped with flatbed scanners, printers, photoshop & bridge, and an entire lighting studio with backdrops and all the equipment. Check out my photoset of all these spaces here. Additionally, our Photo Technician, Jon Barber will rent out photo equipment (woohoo large format!) to students with photo experience.
3. Lastly, the photo classes that we offer are enlightening and rewarding and inspiring. Even in an introductory level class which is largely assignment-based, your teachers value and welcome a personal artistic insight and aesthetic. From your beginnings in Photo Foundations to wherever you end up, you are not only creating your own work, but are participating in all-class critiques and presentations as well.
Hope this helps!