Painting & Drawing
At Bennington, students work closely with faculty to design the content, structure, and sequence of their study and practice—their Plan—taking advantage of resources inside and outside the classroom to pursue their work.
The faculty in painting and drawing offer a broad range of courses, from introductory level studios, to thematic seminars, to workshops in which students conduct self-directed projects. Our approach to teaching painting and drawing is one that allows students to understand these fields as discrete disciplines, each complete with its own rich history.
At the same time, students have the chance to develop approaches to their work that are not defined by traditional parameters of painting or drawing. Students in many of our classes incorporate new technologies, moving image, photography, installation, language, literature, and architecture in their explorations of problems presented.
In all painting and drawing courses, we aim to create an atmosphere in the classroom which prioritizes inquiry into the nature of representation itself, and the questions inherent in the relationship between empirical experience/observation and image making/understanding. Emphasis is placed on the exploration of assignments that provide parameters and questions for students that will lead them into legitimately formidable inquiry—rather than determining the approach that they might take formally. n this way, acquisition of technical skills is never separated from questions of the creation of meaning and the significance of images, especially in the world of today.
Josh Blackwell’s recent works are called Neveruses (never•uses). Neveruses are lumpish, androgynous painting-objects comprised of scavenged plastic bags and colored fibers such as wool yarn and silk thread. These hybrid devices are neither useful nor redundant, although both are implied.
Mary Lum’s paintings, collages, and wall works, which have been praised by critics and exhibited widely, draw attention to the overlooked but subliminally powerful architecture of modern life.
Ann Pibal’s geometric paintings on aluminum panels, which engage the history of 20th- century abstraction, textile design, architecture, and graphic design, have been exhibited widely in the United States and in Europe.
Visiting Faculty & Technicians
Colin Brant’s art combines a love for French romantic painting with an interest in trees and birds. Both reverent and skeptical, his paintings aim to explore ideas of utopia and our relationship with the natural world.
Elisa Lendvay’s explorations in making form, color and enigmatic objects move between sculpture, painting and drawing. They present interplays among internal vision, observation of nature, and corporality to generate moments of perception, truth, and whimsey. Diverse materials are employed to consider how unlike elements can merge into something other and new. She explores the physicality of making and matter with a sense of play and discovery in the process.