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Foundation for Contemporary Arts Honors Bennington Alumni

The Foundation for Contemporary Arts has announced its 2016 grant recipients. Among the winners are Barbara Bloom ’72 for her work in the visual arts, and Melinda Ring MFA ’01 for her dance and performance work. Former faculty member in dance Nora Chipaumire, who taught at Bennington in 2009, also received an award.

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X (excerpt) by Melinda Ring

Barbara Bloom ’72 is a visual artist whose conceptual practice is often centered on photography and installation. Bloom lived in Europe for nearly twenty years—first in Holland, then in Germany. Since 1992 she has lived and worked in New York.

Though enthusiastically visual, I often feel that my work stems more from the traditions of literature than it does from the fields of painting or sculpture. I am probably a novelist, but somehow ended up standing in the wrong line, and inadvertently “signed up" to be a visual artist. From Bloom's artist statement 

Melinda Ring MFA ’01 creates dances, performance pieces, videos, and installations. In 2004 she founded the performance company Special Projects. Her dance- and movement-based projects often incorporate visual arts practices, including video, sculpture, and installation. 

I'm engaged in an on-going experiment, examining choreographic conventions, stripping away various things that usually support a performance. Recent works have been made through a highly collaborative process with the performers, involving destabilization, defamiliarization, de-authoring, and transmission. From Ring's artist statement

The Foundation for Contemporary Arts was established by the painter Jasper Johns and the composer John Cage in 1963, based on the idea that visual artists would donate works of art for sale in order to support the work of performing artists. This year, the foundation awarded sixteen grants to artists at various stages of their careers.