Today’s blog post comes from alumna Hannah Root (MSoE ’15), who reports on her recent experience of presenting the results of her work this past summer in Joan Grossman’s elective on Environmental Video Production.
“In November I had the enormous honor to attend the Lake Champlain International Film Festival in Plattsburgh, NY to see my final video project from the Middlebury School of the Environment presented on the big screen. This project was part of Joan Grossman’s Environmental Video Production elective, and I was able to collaborate with two classmates (Ben Harris, Middlebury ’15 and Alice, Harvard ’15) to produce a 5-minute video. Our topic started as a portrait of the new pop-up park in Middlebury, a temporary play structure designed and built by UVM students, and it evolved into a conversation about community spaces and their standards. This was my first experience with film production and it was so rewarding to work collaboratively with a group to create an end product that we were all proud to share.
“Our film was shown in the agriculture block alongside three other films, including “Small Farm Rising” by Ben Stechschulte. All of the films in this block shared different visions for improving our local communities, be it through growing good food or creating play spaces for children. Afterwards, I was able to speak on a panel alongside the producers and some of the farmers in the films to delve into some of the common themes and the process of making our films. The whole afternoon was an amazing experience for me as a first-time filmmaker. I am so thankful to Joan Grossman for helping my group produce a film that I am proud to share, and Curt Gervich for connecting us with the organizers of the film festival!”
Congratulations, Hannah, Ben, and Alice, on having your film included in an international film festival!
I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Joan Grossman will join us this coming summer as an Assistant Professor of Environmental Art.
Joan is a media artist and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York, with projects that span documentary film, video installation, video projection design for live performance (including collaborating on the recent Salt Marsh Suite about a distressed wetland in North Carolina), and productions for non-profit organizations such as the World Resources Institute. Her work has won numerous awards and has been screened in more than 20 countries with projects in China, Russia, Africa, and throughout Europe. She has been a visiting artist and professor of film and media arts at universities across the country, and has worked as a producer for European feature films shooting in the US. Her recent documentary, Drop City, is currently screening internationally, and is distributed by 7th Art Releasing in Los Angeles. Joan has a PhD in Media and Philosophy from the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. Her book, BLACKOUT: On Memory and Catastrophe, was published by Atropos Press.
At the Middlebury School of the Environment, Joan will co-teach the Introduction to Environmental Analysis (with Steve Trombulak) and an elective course on Environmental Video Production.
I am excited about her elective in video production. In this course, students will gain hands-on experience in video production and create short video works that draw on other aspects of the environmental studies curriculum. Video can be a powerful tool for research and creative expression, and has the potential to deeply enhance how we perceive and understand the environment. The course will explore aesthetic and philosophical approaches to video production, and creative techniques for communicating information and producing artistic works. The aim of this course is to develop skills and perspectives that demonstrate how video can provoke profound discourses on issues and ideas.
Last summer, Martin Clark Bridge joined us as the School of the Environment’s first artist-in-residence. Not only did he create “Vanishing Nautilus,” the acrylic on wood painting to inaugurate the School, but he delivered a riveting lecture called “Environmental Art: Exploration and Collaboration.” In this lecture he reviewed his own path to becoming one of the most promising young artists at the vanguard of the field’s modern movement, but he situates that narrative within the broader history of the field’s evolution over time.
But you don’t have to settle for my description of his presentation. You can view it here in it’s entirety. So please join me in welcoming Mr. Martin Clark Bridge, who is speaking to us about Environmental Art: Exploration and Collaboration.
One of the goals of the School of the Environment is to offer as comprehensive and integrative of a curriculum as possible. It is therefore with great pleasure that I introduce the School’s Artist-in-Residence for 2014, Mr. Martin Clark Bridge.
From his website … “Martin is proudly carrying his family tradition forth as he lives, creates and teaches in the hills of Western Massachusetts. His work spans a wide range of media from Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Theater Design and Site Specific Installations to Performance. His Spiritual Path as an Animist first and foremost influences his art. His work celebrates the sacredness inherent in nature, the consciousness in all things and power of place and seeks to challenge the cultural paradigms that dictate the way we relate to both the natural world and our brother and sisters. He strives to create work that improves his own awareness of how he relates to the natural world and invites viewers to contemplate how to live in better balance with the world around us. Through his work he hopes to inspire and cultivate a greater sense of mystery and possibility in our experience of the world.”
As a Fellow with the School of the Environment, Martin Bridge has accepted a commission to paint an original piece to commemorate the inaugural session of the School. This image will be used on the School’s t-shirt (a tradition that I hope will continue with future artists-in-residence in the coming years), and the original will be placed on display at Middlebury College. Martin will also present an installation lecture, during which he will talk not only about the commissioned piece itself but about how it contributes to his larger exploration of arts and the environment.
Martin Bridge brings to this subject a diverse set of skills and world views that transcends traditional approaches to studies of art and the environment. He is a painter, sculptor, musician, architect, landscape designer, and mycologist … all of which both inform his practices and come together to create a more integrative reflection of the arts than any one practice alone could do. More than anyone else working in this area today, Martin Bridge lives his art, and his art comes alive (often literally) through him.
We are very pleased that he will be joining us during the second week of the summer session, and look forward not only to his presentation but to his deeper engagement with the students.
In the meantime, be sure to visit his website and its associated gallery. I am sure you will agree with me that his work dramatically throws open the door to explorations of arts and the environment.