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.
In the ceramics area, while focusing on the development of technical proficiency and rigorous material investigation, students are encouraged to develop a dialog that relates to their cross-disciplinary course of study and is reflective of a critical thinking process. This discourse allows for students to inter-relate their interests in any field of study, from architecture, to environmentalism, to mathematics.
We believe that through the complete process of making, from formulating clay to firing kilns, the mind and hand are engaged in a way that allows for the creation of work that excels in visual expression and conceptual inquiry. Students have access to a full range of technical training that includes throwing, hand-building, mold-making, glazing, kiln firing, digital fabrication, and mixed-media. Research and practice are the foundation used to broaden a student’s understanding of ceramic traditions and art historical contexts of the medium within contemporary art.
This hands-on learning and thematic exploration allows students to develop the ability to reach the fullest possible outcome and creative innovation to become an active practitioner. Students are encouraged to identify how their ideas can engage larger discourses whether through personal expression or community activism.
Barry Bartlett creates ceramic sculptures that take on questions of conflict, evolution, warfare, suburban sprawl, kitsch, and commemoration.
Yoko Inoue’s multidisciplinary art practice anthropologically examines complex relationships between people and objects, the commodification of culture, and the assimilation and transformation of cultural meaning and values. Using ceramic medium she explores the socio-political and economic implication of products and globalization.
Aysha Peltz’s ceramics blur the lines between utility and art, as the material properties of clay itself—the way it swells, fissures, and tears under its own weight—create a certain kind of poetry.
Visiting Faculty & Technicians
Anina Major is a visual artist from the Bahamas whose work investigates the relationship between self and place. Anthropological research and oral histories play fundamental roles in her practice as she engages with ceramic material to map migrations of tradition and identity.
Joshua Primmer is a maker of utilitarian ceramics and multimedia sculpture that are as much about form, function, process, and material as they are about peaceful monumentality. He has shown his work across the United States and in Canada.