Short answer: totally feasible!
Sculpture plays a huge role in Bennington visual arts. There are plenty of classes that you can take that will definitely catch your fancy, and you will be surrounded by other students who also share your passions. You can make your sculptures as useful or useless as you like.
Glennis is really into making furniture (through sculpture), and was looking into industrial design in her earlier years. There are some awesome courses on 3D modeling and construction that would be helpful. We also have some awesome equipment in VAPA: a laser cutter, two 3D printers, and a CNC machine (I don’t know what this is, but Glennis tells me it’s exciting).
For cuisine, there is the farm on campus, and you could also take a term off to study at a culinary school. Or you could pursue something during your Field Work Term, a seven week opportunity for students to find an internship! You could also pick up a shift at the Dining Hall, but something tells me that this isn’t quite what you’re looking for. What kind of cuisine are you into? Feel free to email me (email@example.com) and tell me all about it.
~ Maddy ‘16
I would advise trawling the archives of our sister blog, the creatively titled Bennington College. I went through and found some cool stuff:
The school’s Flickr also has some nice shots of the latest display in VAPA’s Usdan Gallery. This stuff isn’t student work, but much of it came from alumni and professors, and it’s worth checking out.
The meat of my studies is in Visual Arts and since my first term here at Bennington I’ve been taking a wide variety of courses within VA with a variety of very talented and inspiring teachers, all of whom are actively making work both in and out of Bennington.
I’d have to say that in this past year as a sophmore, I’ve developed a really close relationship with my sculpture and slip-casting (ceramics) teacher Yoko Inoue. She’s really redefined what it means for me to produce visual work here at Bennington. She strongly emphasizes the importance of context and research. I’m currently taking a class with her called The Social Life of Sculpture, an advanced sculpture class. She’s gotten us to submit formal, in depth proposals for our final projects of the term that we had to present to the class for midterms. One of her many goals for us is for us to understand the importance behind being able to critically articulate our ideas, in a similar way as artists do when they apply for grants and residency programs around the world. She drives the conceptual and intellectual side of art-making, constantly pushing us to re-evaluate and question our work in order to imagine it in the world beyond our campus. She’s become a personal mentor of mine; she’s not only a teacher but also a friend that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting up with in NYC for the casual lunch date to talk about art, Bennington and life.
I believe this to be true for most Bennington students across all disciplines. Everyone, at some point along the way, finds that one (or even two, or three) faculty member who they connect and grow with.
If you’re interested in learning more about what Yoko does and seeing her work, here are a couple links:
Hope this feeds your interest :)
First, there are no formal programs at Bennington in any discipline, just a bunch of cool faculty members who want to teach students no matter what their experience level or expertise is.
That being said, sculpture and architecture work in a similar way as literature or math might, from day one you are working in the studio, diving in dumpsters for cardboard, or cutting up butter board or doing whatever you need to do to make your work. The other cool thing about those disciplines, like all disciplines at Bennington, is that students in the classes are coming from a wide variety of backgrounds. So, for example in one of my sculpture classes a music student (who also builds his own guitars) made several sculptures surrounding music. Another student who studies costume design was in a self declared “Princess phase” and decided to make a throne when we were asked to design a place to sit.
Field Work Terms vary greatly between students. I worked for a furniture builder building furniture. My friend who did the music sculptures worked for Jason Middlebrook, a sculptor. Another sculpture friend went to Uganda to teach art. Architecture wise students sometimes find jobs in architecture studios. A friend of mine wrote articles about old historic buildings around Philadelphia and another worked as a TA at a university in Ecuador. Basically whatever you can dream up you can find.
If you have any questions or would love to chat more I would love to talk, shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
The sun majestically perforated the clouds this morning, striking one lone snow-tipped mountain. For some, these rays breaking through the windows of their sleepy dorm rooms stimulated their natural circadian responses, and they rose up like the rest of their animal brothers and sisters in the woods. For others, however, this dawn meant only that another hour had passed in their sleep-deprived delirium. Why, I sometimes ask myself, at a school where there are ostensibly no “requirements,” where we are free to design our own education, do we CHOOSE to do this? The answer, I think, is because we love our work so much.
Here’s what some of us are doing for finals. Check it out:
Trying to help my friend construct a sculpture earlier this month pushed me into foreign territory. I found myself wishing that I knew more about physics. It didn’t help when I looked around and saw this:
A creation by Chendru Starkloff who is using his understanding of physics and tapping in to professors here to make some really interesting work.
The assignment for the Intro to Sculpture class was to create a sculpture that captures a movement you do everyday. His action: mounting his bike.