2016 Spring Visual Arts Lecture Series

Image: Jennifer Schmidt, Palindrome: Towards and Away, So the Sea – 2015.

Unless otherwise noted, lectures are held at 7:30PM in Tishman Lecture Hall, Bennington College. For more information contact: Elizabeth Pellerin at 802-440.4549 or eapeller@bennington.edu


Jennifer Schmidt

March 8 – Jennifer Schmidt

Hosted by Printmaking

Jennifer Schmidt is a multi-media artist living in Brooklyn, NY, who works with print media, graphic design, and sound to create site-specific installations, video, and performances that question the role of visual iconography and repetitive actions within a given environment.

She received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Studio Art and Art History from the University of Delaware; and is Regular Full-time Faculty within the Print Area and Graduate Program at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  She is a fellow in Printmaking/Drawing/Artists’ Books from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and is a grant recipient from the Puffin Foundation.

March 22 - Kambui Olujimi

Hosted by Photography

Kambui Olujimi was born and raised in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. In Spring 2013, he received his MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts. Olujimi is a graduate of Parson’s School of Design and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Olujimi is an artist who works within the realm of ideas rather than within an exclusive medium. Although he has directed a great deal of work in film, his is truly a multi-media practice. He crafts potent social commentary from delicate wisps of myth and whimsy mixed with real-world narrative. Olujimi has an interest in, “transforming the mundane into legend, the absurd into custom, and the creation of icons.” In his works, the violence and destruction of identity—the grief and subsequent anesthetization of grief—become poignant symbols of the contemporary condition. Lyrical and elliptical rather than ideological, Olujimi’s art transcends the political sphere, affirming its own autonomy. The artist has exhibited with Catharine Clark Gallery since 2010.

Kambui Olujimi
The Yes Men
The Yes Men

March 29 - Andy Bichlbaum of The Yes Men

2016 Adams-Tillim lecture

The Yes Men are Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, two guys who couldn’t hold down a job until they became representatives of Exxon, Halliburton, Dow Chemical, and the U.S. federal government. Their outrageous satirical interventions at business events, on the internet, television, and in the streets form the basis of two award-winning feature documentaries, The Yes Men and The Yes Men Fix the World, festival favorites in Toronto, Berlin, SXSW and others.

Their latest feature documentary, The Yes Men Are Revolting, adds to their hit list some of the biggest climate criminals, hilariously targeting such planet-plundering entities as Shell Oil, Gazprom Oil, and the US Chamber of Commerce.

Their work has been shown in the Whitney Biennial, the Venice Biennale, ARS Electronica, and many other art exhibitions.

They are the recipients of numerous awards, including Creative Time’s Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change, Grierson Documentary Award, Berlinale Panorama Audience Award, the United Nations Association Film Festival Grand Jury Award, Best Documentary Award at HBO Comedy Arts Festival, and the Audience Award at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam.

They are the authors of several books, articles, and they lecture internationally on art and social change.

They are the founders of a nonprofit, the Yes Lab, and the Action Switchboard, an online platform for generating real-life direct actions in the service of social movements.


April 5 – Mariah Garnett

Hosted by Video

Mariah Garnett mixes documentary, narrative and experimental filmmaking practices to make work that accesses existing people and communities beyond her immediate experience. Using source material that ranges from found text to iconic gay porn stars, Garnett often inserts herself into the films, creating cinematic allegories that codify and locate identity.

Garnett holds an MFA from Calarts in Film/Video and a BA from Brown University in American Civilization. Her work has been screened internationally including: REDCAT (LA), White Columns (NY), SF MoMA (SF), Venice Bienniale (Swiss Off-site Pavillion), Rencontres Internationales (Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Beirut), Midway Contemporary Art (Minneapolis), Ann Arbor Film Festival (Ann Arbor), Kerstin Engholm Galerie (Vienna).

In 2016 she has her first institutional solo show at the MAC in Belfast, Northern Ireland and her first solo show at a commercial art gallery in Los Angeles at ltd los angeles. In 2014, she was in residence at The Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin, and featured in Made in LA, the Hammer Museum’s biennial exhibition. The LA Times called her piece “Best in Show.” She was awarded the Rema Hort Mann and CCF Emerging artist fellowships in 2014 and 2015.

Mariah Garnett
Mariah Garnett
Lynn Tomlinson
Lynn Tomlinson

April 19 - Lynn Tomlinson

Hosted by Animation

Lynn Tomlinson’s short animation The Ballad of Holland Island House tells a story of sea-level rise from the point-of-view of the last house on a sinking island in the Chesapeake Bay.  Screened in dozens of international festivals; winner of awards from Greenpeace, Woods Hole Film Festival, UFVA, the Black Maria Film Festival, and others; and part of the theatrical release The Animation Show of Shows, this film was made with animated clay-painting, oil-based modeling clay brought to life frame-by-frame. Tomlinson’s animation is painterly and tactile, using — while obscuring — high-tech digital processes and tools, to blend, composite, and manipulate images and sounds. Her work as an artist, scholar, and curator explores the borders where animation intersects with painting, sculpture, puppetry, live performance, and immersive experience. Her current creative projects engage with narrative based on research heightened through elements of myth and fable. Recent projects include Medusa: The Immortal Jellyfish, a multimedia performance piece, and a digital puppet show for Light City Baltimore featuring an animated crab controlled by an iPad interface. Tomlinson’s films have screened at international festivals including Annecy, Ottawa, Hiroshima, and Tricky Women, and she has received Individual Artist Fellowships from the states of Pennsylvania and Florida. She leads workshops that use animation and technology to engage and empower students, particularly girls and young women. Tomlinson has taught at University of the Arts, Cornell University, and MICA, and is currently Assistant Professor of Electronic Media and Film at Towson University outside Baltimore, Maryland.


April 26 – Dona Nelson

Hosted by Painting

Dona Nelson has had twelve solo exhibitions of her paintings, primarily in New York City. In 2000, she had a large survey show of her work at the Weatherspoon Museum of Fine Art in Greensboro, North Carolina. She had solo exhibitions in 2001 and 2003 at the Cheim and Read Gallery in New York City. She currently exhibits her work at the Thomas Erben Gallery in New York City. She has also been featured in many group exhibitions throughout the country, including the 2013 Whitney Biennial. Her paintings have been written about in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Art in America and ArtForum.  Nelson’s paintings are included in numerous public and private collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art and The Boston Museum of Fine Art.  In 2011, Nelson was a recipient of a grant from the Foundation for the Community of Artists. In 2012, she was the recipient of an Artist Legacy Foundation Grant. She is known for creating installations of two sided paintings which establish an immediate experience in time and space and resist photographic transcription. Nelson has cited Lucio Fontana, Jackson Pollock and Joan Miro as important influences.

Dona Nelson
Caroline Rennolds Milbank

Caroline Rennolds Milbank ’77

Harold Koda

Harold Koda

May 10
Caroline Rennolds Milbank ’77
Harold Koda

Hosted by Drawing

Caroline Rennolds Milbank is a fashion historian and the author of four books and has been a costume curator for exhibitions at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Clark Art Institute.

Harold Koda is the recently retired Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.