Visual Arts

When it comes to visual arts facilities, Bennington pretty much has it all. Among the creative spaces in the 120,000-square-foot Visual and Performing Arts Center (VAPA) are labs and studios for ceramics, architecture, woodworking, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, digital arts, and more. The building is open to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Bennington’s visual arts faculty is composed of photographers, sculptors, painters, architects, ceramicists, printmakers, and digital artists whose pioneering work has appeared in some of the most prestigious museums, galleries, and art publications in the world. They are keen to use their experience as professionals to inform and expand their work in the classroom.

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A Bennington Legacy

Bennington was the first college in the nation to include the visual and performing arts as an equal partner in the liberal arts curriculum. In the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, renowned painters and sculptors gathered on its campus to redefine the visual arts. Among them was alumna Helen Frankenthaler ‘49, who became one of the most celebrated abstract painters in American history.

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Courses | Faculty

Architecture. Art History. Ceramics. Digital Arts. Drawing. Film and Video. Media Arts. Painting. Photography. Printmaking. Sculpture.

As you move from introductory to advanced courses in any of the visual arts at Bennington, you develop not only your technique, but your own methods of investigation, conceptual thinking, and understanding of what it means to be a creative practitioner. You are encouraged to make connections between different areas of the visual arts and the liberal arts. A distinctive element is the review process: an ongoing critique by a diverse group of faculty from the visual arts, all active professionals in their field. Art history is interwoven into most of the studio courses, in addition to classes dedicated to specific art history themes and periods.

Each winter, you intern with a museum, gallery, artist, or any other job that complements your studies through Field Work Term, the annual seven-week internship period.

All visual arts classes are taught in the Visual and Performing Arts Center (VAPA), a 150,000+ square-foot creative complex connected by wood decks, balconies, and walkways. VAPA is open 24 hours a day, and students can be found there at all hours—creating new work in their studios, gathering for critiques, collaborating.