The Art Collection
It came in every form and format. Art in every direction, on every surface, and in all imaginable mediums. Art inspired by pilgrimages, by creative blocks; art made in nature, on receipts, sewn and painted, art fired and broken and resculpted again. This is a collection of some of the artwork submitted in response to this issue’s question.
Katherine King ’01
What didn’t exist before I made it? Photographs, including this one, which I took on a trip to an ethnically Tibetan region of rural China in 2018 (featured above). What else didn’t exist? The infrastructure to bring running water to a small village, which is being built with the funds raised through my work with the Tibetan Village Project before my trip. We will be returning in 2019 to provide health education to Tibetan women in the region.
Susan Tunick ’67, MFA ’69
I found that when I began making ceramics many years ago at Bennington, I often felt a slight disappointment in the final moments of removing the pieces from the glaze kiln. In those moments, the work always faced the final judgement of success or failure. Now I use the kiln as an integral part of the working process. Each firing includes many elements that are really the starting point for the new work. The color builds up over a series of firings and, of course, great flexibility results from experimenting with the placement of clay bands and antique tiles (Image 1). I combine handmade clay bands with antique dust-pressed ceramic tile borders that I often re-glaze (Image 2). The industrial precision of these slender commercial strips adds a nice contrast to the looser textures in the pieces I produce.
Roshan Houshmand ’82
These pieces were inspired by traditional Tibetan Buddhist thangka paintings and my travels to Nepal and India, where I studied at a monastic art school and set off on a pilgrimage to important Buddhist sites. The works reveal melodic fusions of the eastern and western traditions and techniques of art, as an expression of my multicultural identity. Although there are many eastern aspects to these works, they are western and contemporary in execution. Each piece from this series has a leaf from the bodhi tree at the Mahabohi Temple where Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment.
Top Left: Pink Dome (17.27), 2017, stoneware, 18" x 16" x 8.75" Top Right: Labyrinth (17.32), stoneware bottle, 10.5" x 5.25" x 1.75" Botton Left: Mondrian, (18.52), plate, stoneware, 2" x 123" x 14.25"
Bottom Right: Pink Lady 917.22), 2017, stoneware vessel, 12.25" x 7.5" x 5"
Catherine Satterlee ’71
After being introduced to ceramics by Stanley Rosen at Bennington College in the late 60s, I worked in the contemporary art and design worlds as a graphic designer, a painter for twenty years, and as a member of the exhibitions team at the Hirshhorn Museum. I returned to ceramics for a short time in the 90s. But after retiring in 2014, it occurred to me that now was my chance to jump into ceramics. I joined a group studio in Arlington, VA, where I now spend most of my time. I feel incredibly lucky to have found my medium at this stage of life.
Miriam Zyndorf '75
Left: Heron, 2014, acrylic pencil, charcoal on canvas. 72" x 72" Center: Fast Food Paradox, 2018, pencil on paper. 4" x 5" Right: It’s Clear, 2018, oil on vinyl yardage and wrapping. 48" x 48"
Alden Jones MFA'01
I have traveled to Cuba since 2001 and have witnessed the extraordinary role that water plays in everyday life on the island. I have been particularly struck by the ways water can’t be controlled and how the people in Cuba adapt to this. In cities and homes, plumbing often goes awry: water disappears in the middle of a shower; toilets won’t flush and then suddenly explode. Everywhere on the island, people are at the mercy of the rain and the weather in a way that offers little escape. In these photographs from a series taken on Kodak film, I documented the role water or the lack of it affects the habits of life in Cuba. In Miramar, Havana, a man sweeps an empty pool, while swimmers enjoy the sea beyond him. In Nuevitas, two girls are stranded in a rainstorm, chatting casually as the street becomes a river and halts all travel.
Left: Cleanse and Purge, 2018, 30" x 30", acrylic and ink on canvas. Center: Float, 2018, 30" x 30", acrylic on canvas. Right: Moon Garden, 2019, 30" x 30", acrylic and ink on canvas.
Alicia Herrmann '98
A continuous body of paintings influenced by blood cells, movement, color, and the shifting nature of cell
structures in spaces.
Left: Tenderloin Arty Lending Library (TALL). Right: Transgender Lady with Young Hippy Lover at the Bus Stop, oil on canvas, 14" x 12" by Robert Honig.
Rick Darnell MFA '87
I started the volunteer-run Tenderloin Arty Lending Library (TALL) in 2010. TALL loans original framed artwork, made by a diverse group of talented Tenderloin artists at all skill levels, many of whom are homeless or formerly homeless. The art lending library is completely free to use. Patrons may check out one piece monthly and return the piece to borrow another piece for another month. The collection currently includes 100 pieces by 68 artists from four countries. In addition to lending art to private residents in an attempt to provide a low-threshold access to art, TALL also lends art to nonprofit organizations, hotels, and exhibits select pieces from the collection at San Francisco public libraries, alternative art galleries, and community venues that help to raise awareness of the cultural asset.
Individual Art Pieces by Bennington Alum
Rhea Nowak ’85
In my current body of work, I am exploring how we/I “read”. Creating symbols and characters from marks, natural textures, and objects, I play with their relationships and possible meanings or references. (Left) Amends, 2018, intaglio with stitching and perforations, 30.5" x 22.5"
Jan Cook Mack ’70
I hiked into Ancient Lakes near Wenatchee, WA and I painted this crevasse through which I could see a waterfall on-site in shrub steppe (Center).
Jaqueth Hutchinson ’64
When Jaqueth encounters a creative block, she goes to the trash and makes sculpture out of everyday found materials. This is one of her “Trashers.” (Right)
Steven Albahari ’82
Twenty-one years ago, Steven Albahari ’82 started 21st Editions, a fine press The Wall Street Journal
described as walking “in Stieglitz’s Footsteps.” 21st Editions married the word, photographic image, and artisan binding. The full and complete 21st Collection is comprised of 63 titles and was completed in 2018 at the same time it was purchased by the National Gallery of Art and the University of Minnesota.
Barbara Furstenberg ’66
Left: Blue Moon, mixed media collage
Corinne Robbins ’82
Right: Strange Autumn, 2019, oil on canvas, 42" x 38"