John Umphlett is open to experimentation through the love of material handling and repetitive practice. His work can be a representation of an action or a snapshot of a moment that takes hours to fully view. The focus of life and death are recognized within his work as vibrating bookends.
Umphlett has shown his sculptural and performance works throughout the United States from residencies at sculpture parks to elementary schools, including at Contemporary Art Center, North Adams, Massachusetts; North Bennington Outdoor Exhibition, North Bennington, Vermont; Greatest American Hero, Salem Art Works, Salem, New York; Four K exhibition, Usdan Gallery, Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont; Monument Elementary School, Old Bennington, Vermont; Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer, Minnesota; and the Carving Studio, West Rutland, Vermont.
He has been commissioned to make office furnishings and cubicles for rising businesses in New York, such as Sunshine Suites in New York City and is establishing his own fabricating company. He received the Jerome fellowship for Franconia Sculpture Park in 2002 and since has received grants from the Vermont Arts Exchange in 2003 and 2004. In his role as interdisciplinary arts technician at Bennington College, he has supervised the installation and lighting of numerous exhibitions and served as an inventor and problem-solver for student projects across the Visual Arts disciplines from designing cameras in photography to fabricating revolving projection installations for live performances. He teaches courses in the technical aspects of sculpture as well as more conceptual courses in an interdisciplinary style. BFA, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1996; MFA, Bennington College, 1999. He has been a teaching technician at Bennington since 2000.