This term we (Kate Davis and Arden Jordan) both took Social Practices in Art with Robert Ransick. This class is about learning and analyzing the field of social practice in art and the current artists and projects involved in this community. The best (which is saying a lot because it was an AMAZING class) thing about the class was designing our own social practice projects and implementing them for our final.
Arden: My partner, Maddy Kostman, and I recorded the thoughts of leaders, residents and students that were interested in examining the relationship between Bennington College and the town of Bennington. We archived these conversations in digital form, allowing people to listen to others’ responses.
Working on this project was one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences I’ve had at Bennington. Maddy and I had to revise our project several times and made several mistakes along the way. In the end, recording the different members of the larger Bennington community was an amazing experience.
I learned so much doing this project and now view the relationship between the college and the town in a completely new way. Maddy and I hope to continue these conversations when we get back to campus in the spring.
You can listen to all the recordings on our Soundcloud.
Kate: My partner, Christina Cary, and I taught a cooking class to kids at Fiddlehead at Four Corners. Our goal was to get parents excited about cooking with local vegetables by making cooking fun for kids. Before the event, we had NO idea if any families would show up, but families kept arriving, and it was awesome. Kids were coloring in images of the four main vegetable/fruit ingredients of the Butternut Squash and Pear soup, then got to take on the responsibility of slicing ingredients (with a plastic knife), scooping out the inside of the squash, and peeling the root veggies. Here are some of the pictures of the event.
Before each child left, he or she asked his/her parent if they were going to make the soup when they got home. The response was better than we could have imagined, and it was a great chance to creatively address a concern we heard expressed in town (not cooking with fresh veggies or not knowing exactly how), using techniques we learned in class, and referencing artists we studied. Overall, it was a phenomenal class and I would strongly suggest reading up on Social Practices in Art (check out Darren O’Donnell’s Social Acupuncture)
Arden J. ‘16 and Kate D. ‘14
Short answer- yes!
I am predominantly vegan, and my close friend here is completely vegan. Breakfast is the one meal that seems the least vegan-friendly to me, but it still is— it just depends on what you want to eat. I usually have toast with PB for breakfast, but there is also cereal (with numerous alternative milks), vegan waffle mix, fruit, breakfast potatoes (either tater tots or potato squares), spinach, oatmeal, etc. I just prefer toast.
Lunch and dinner are my favorite meals, and I either eat at the dining hall or the student center. They serve different types of food, but they are both safe bets. The dining hall always has vegan options, hot food and salad bar. The student center is a place for either grill-style food (veggie burgers, which I always get in a salad), boxed (like Amy’s), or pre-made (wraps, etc.). Feel free to email me with any specific questions- email@example.com
-Kate D. ‘14
So the technical part of the answer-
After you submit your Common App, you will get an email from us acknowledging that we received it, and this will contain a link to yor applicant status page, on which you can submit Bennington-specific parts of the application. This will show you what you uploaded and what you are missing.
In terms of the format for your portfolio, or other supplementary work, it is up to you. JPEGs, audio files, video files, PDFs, basically any file works. On the portfolio part of the applicant page, you can see the possible file types.
The less technical part of the answer-
What we want from your portfolio is to see what you are passionate about. What do you want to share with us? Do you write poems? Photograph food? Sing in a Beatles tribute band? Research the effects of fertilizers on plant growth? Blog? Make quilts? Film videos?Send us what you think best describes you and the work you do. Do not feel confined to send photographs of your paintings (although we love that, too!). We want to see what makes you tick, what wakes you up.
-Kate D. ‘14
If you haven’t written an analytic paper in college, you can send something from high school. If you’re not happy with a paper that you have from HS or if it doesn’t fit well, as someone who is potentially transferring, Sarah McAbee (counselor and transfer go-to person) @ firstname.lastname@example.org can mail you a prompt for a new writing sample. Hope this helps!
-Kate D. ‘14
I don’t see any previous question about partying, but I will answer this now!
This weekend is the Spooky Party for Halloween. This weekend is full of parties and Halloween festivities. Each week there is a house party, which is a space to dance and listen to good music. Sometimes people have gatherings in their rooms, too. Both are obviously different dynamics, and they are both enjoyable. This weekend there will be plenty of both. Gatherings/parties in these next few days include Spookananny (Halloween activities today), Spooky Show (a concert in one of the houses), a student’s improv show, Spooky Party, Death by Chocolate (party), and basketball and swimming clubs (not Halloween-specific).
So, yes, there are plenty of parties and activities in general. I can’t wait to try to go to as many as possible.
-Kate D. ‘14
We think it’s pretty subjective whose Plan is “weird,” but the important part of the Plan process is thinking about one’s own work and iterating one’s path and connections.
Here are some examples of our Plans, so you can get a sense of how we combine our interests in varying and exciting ways.
Alan Dupont- Theater for a Healthy Discourse. I study how meaning is formed and learned in language and how larger themes — particularly issues pertaining to gender and sexuality — manifest themselves in talk. I am interested in writing plays which ask an audience to question their relationship with language and thus look at the world we live in differently. The classes I have taken which pertain to this most directly are in Education, Social Psychology, Philosophy, Drama, Dramatic Literature, and Literature.
Carlos Torres- Change through Architecture and the Arts
I am interested in Architecture, Visual Arts, and other related fields of interest, focusing on how to successfully intertwine their individual potentials to achieve change, to solve a specific problem. I use architecture as a filter of sorts, through which all my other interests go through. What can complement architecture, and vice versa? What can’t?
Emily Gaynor- I’m investigating comedy/ the intersection of gender and pop culture through the study of drama, literature and media. I’m interested when the saddest, truest most basic human events are expressed in hilarious ways (think Louis C.K. and Tig Notaro). In the future I’d like to use comedy to promote gender equality.
Kate Davis- Food is the focus of my Plan. Through Environmental Studies, I have been studying sustainability in food production. What does sustainability mean in agriculture and is it possible? Through Italian, I study Italian language and culture, and for advanced work will explore how Fascism and the Futurist art movement connected, and perhaps how they influenced the Italian diet. I am still researching to establish the trajectory of this project.
Ben Redmond- My plan is focused on The Languages of the Story and how text, images, and sounds are used to convey information and emotion. More than storytelling itself, it is the world of the story that has captured my attention. I am interested in the translation and adaptation of ideas in text to physical manifestations of light, sound, and/or film. I have been able to study literature and creative writing, sound design, video, photography, dramatic lighting, astrophysics, music critique and innumerable other subjects, all of which have contributed to my understanding of how we share our own experiences with each other or how we create and come to realize fictional experiences.
I just made a pot of green tea to accompany my readings from Italo Calvino’s “Lezioni americane” (6 memos for the new millennium) and “Il castello dei destini incrociati” (The castle of crossed destinies).
-Kate D ‘14
The colonial-style houses (one of three types of houses) had their doors repainted last term, and some of them are particularly striking. I will post a photo per day of each of the colonial doors.
This is Woolley.
-Kate D. ‘14
So for your Plan (your course of study here), you develop an inquiry you want to pursue through courses. My inquiry looks into what “sustainability” in agriculture is and if/how it can be achieved. Throughout my time here, I have taken a course about energy and the environment (a physics point of view), an anthropology course about sustainability, a biology course about the history of food and farming, an environmental studies course in which we assessed “food deserts” and conducted a study in downtown Bennington, a sustainability in food production course (when I was in Italy), and now an agroecology course.
There are many more courses offered, ranging from biology to environmental studies to anthropology to the advancement of public action. So, to answer your question, there are more than enough courses.
These are the environmental studies courses being offered this term. And here are the courses offered next term. Definitely click around and see the courses offered this term, look at the science courses, and check out the tag “environment.”
If you have any questions about the courses related to sustainable agriculture, please feel free to email me: email@example.com
-Kate D. ‘14
I just took this 5 minutes ago from the porch of the Admissions office. It is a beautiful day today with leaves changing and a bright blue sky.
This is the perfect day to walk outside with a pumpkin spice coffee in a warm sweater :)
-Kate D. ‘14
Funny you should ask! I am taking Agroecology this semester and we are working hands-on every day at the student garden. Last week, we installed low tunnels, which act as a season extension. We have experimental plots under the tunnels, in which we test soil moisture, humidity, soil temperature, and light intensity two times a day. Luckily we are in pairs, so one person can do each time.
There is also a student farm, the Purple Carrot Farm, which is connected to the Bennington Sustainable Food Project (a student group), and is open to all students. If you’re ever around on a Friday from 12-2, there will be a student selling produce from the farm out of a small cart.
-Kate D. ‘14
(photo from borntofarm.com)
This past Friday, I organized an event to raise money for my Social Practices in Art course. Each student has to raise $20, so we can have spending money for projects later in the term.
I requested that each person invited bring one vegetable and a $5 dollar donation. With the vegetables that arrived, I made six dishes and brown rice. I cooked the following: roasted cauliflower and squash, sauteed mushrooms, tamari stir-fried asparagus, sautéed kale and onion, sautéed kale with onion and carrots, and grilled broccoli and zucchini with garlic.
Overall, there was a great turnout and, surprisingly, all the food turned out well.
-Kate D. ‘14
Last Friday, my Business of Food in Italy course went to a zero emission winery in Umbria to learn about how they achieved zero emission and discuss their plan to move to the American market. Our culminating project in this course is to design a practical plan for them to sell their wine in the US market and to design a marketing plan (which we will then propose to them).
During our visit, I drove a solar-powered golf cart to the fields, which was AWESOME! Here is a picture: