Posts from the 'Alumni' Category


Circa 1971

Circa 1971
Early Film & Video from the EAI Archive
September 17, 2011 – September 4, 2012

Curated by art history alumna Lori Zippay ’80, Executive Director of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) on the occasion of EAI’s 40th anniversary.

Nam June Paik and Jud Yalkut with Charlotte Moorman, TV Cello Premiere, 1971.

Riggio Galleries
3 Beekman Street, Beacon, New York

Gallery Talk with Lori Zippay: Saturday, February 11th at 2:00 pm


Update from our Fulbright Scholar

Judy Baca, "Concepcion de Ataco"

Rachel Heidenry, ’11, received a Fulbright Fellowship to study murals in El Salvador.  She recently emailed an update: “I split my time between San Salvador, the westernized capital, and Suchitoto, a small town about two hours north. In San Salvador, I tend to hop on the bus with my camera concealed in my backpack and head to spots where I know murals are. Once there, I photograph the murals from every angle and ask whoever I can for information. Often I just come across sprayed or painted walls, mostly graffiti or tags, documenting them through photography without knowing too much about their origins. In Suchitoto, life is much more laid-back. Based at the Centro Arte para la Paz (, I taught two drawing classes twice a week from October-December. One group was of young women, incredibly patient and eager to learn. The other was a mix of 10-12 yr olds (mostly boys) who struggled to draw for 2 hours without also practicing wrestling moves. Either way, it was a lot of fun and we ended the year with a final exhibition of students’ self-portraits while feasting on chocolate-carmel donuts.

So far, I have photographed over 300 painted walls, including fine art murals, community murals, graffiti, tags, advertisements, and political propaganda. I’ve conducted 3 formal interviews with established Salvadoran muralists, helping one get a commission to paint in Suchitoto. Informally, I have had countless conversations with Salvadorans about art and memory, finding support in my research and ideas. I also had the opportunity to design and paint a mural with a group of youth in Copapayo for the anniversary of the town’s massacre. This is just a little update to share with you all. I’m leaving out the countless pupusas, latin dance classes, and sponge-bob piñatas, but it is still a taste of my daily life and research. Also, please look at my photography blog (


Alum’s Outsider Art Project

Clare Conniff’s Post-Grad ’11 Project

My whole life I have watched my grandfather, Jim Conniff, create weird and

Jim Conniff

wacky, but beautiful, art. When I was young I just thought of it as something he did for fun. I never realized how truly wrong I was until my last semester at Bard, when I took a course entitled “Outsider Art” with Susan Aberth. In the class Susan taught us about artists, usually termed outsider, folk, naïve, or visionary, that were removed from the accepted art world. The separation could be compulsory, as for artists in mental asylums or prisons, or it could be self-imposed. I spent most classes thinking about how much everything Susan was teaching us seemed applicable to my grandfather, who is now 91 years old, and his art. After graduation, I began to look more closely at my grandfather’s work. After he finished a piece, he would place it somewhere in his home, and for the most part, they remained wherever he put them, gathering dust, and, in some cases, breaking, until I started poking around. I took some pictures, asked him some questions, and eventually decided that I needed to do something about the rapid and ongoing decay of the art that had been sitting around his house for decades.

In order to raise money to preserve Jim’s art, I have started a fundraising campaign on a website called Kickstarter, a platform for funding creative projects through many small donations from varied sources. I am trying to raise funds in order to preserve Jim’s art. With the donations I receive, I will repair and clean the pieces, catalogue them, create a book, and interview Jim on camera. You can view my Kickstarter campaign at and read more about the project at The Kickstarter closes on January 22, and if I haven’t reached my goal of $5000, I will not receive any of the donations. Please check out my project and consider supporting it in whatever way you are able. Whether that means donating $10, $100, or just simply passing on the link to someone you think might be interested, thank you. I truly appreciate any help you can give me.


Alumnus Max Yeston ’08 in his own words..


I am currently a first-year graduate student at Columbia University’s Historic Preservation Program. The curriculum uses New York City as a laboratory for exploring a wide array of issues pertaining to the preservation of the built environment, such as research and documentation, city planning, structures and materials, architectural history and theory. I have already undertaken such projects as surveying and documenting the Dula family mausoleum at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, visiting and and writing a presentation on the Pieter Wyckoff House in Brooklyn (the oldest surviving Dutch house in New York State), and researching a loft building at 450-460 Park Avenue South and a rowhouse at 8 East 36th Street as part of a study area in Murray Hill. Additionally, I travelled to Buffalo to attend the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual conference, where I sat in on lectures regarding land banks and neighborhood conservation districts, and got to take tours of Buffalo’s architectural landmarks including Louis Sullivan’s Guaranty Building (1896) and Minoru Yamasaki’s M&T Bank (1967). Outside of school, I attended a committee meeting for Landmark West, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and read personal testimony at a public hearing at the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in support of a proposed historic district. In Columbia’s program, I am learning, along with my colleagues, about how to assess a building or neighborhood’s significance as well as how the broad scope of preservation can be economically as well as culturally beneficial to society in the long term. I hope to continue focusing on neighborhood planning and community revitalization, and am pursuing a dual degree with Urban Planning.


Alum to Lecture

Olivia Tamzarian graduated from Bard College in 2005 with a triple concentration in anthropology, art history, and Latin American studies.  She is a study abroad coordinator with LPI (Learning Programs International), Austin, TX.

Olivia will lecture at Bard High School Knowledge College Event
Saturday, February 5, 2011

Globe-Trotter Before Graduation: Everything You Need to Know About High School Study Abroad

For more information visit:


A Former Art History Student Goes To Peru

Summer 2010 – Jessica Blau

Jessica with the big stone in Sacsayhuaman - the last Inca stronghold against the Spanish - in Cusco

With the advent of the Haiti earthquake in January, I was very keen to volunteer there with the relief aid; however due to political tensions in Haiti, the organization I was set to volunteer with suggested that I also look into volunteer opportunities in Pisco, Peru, which had been victim to an earthquake of similar magnitude in 2007 and was still undergoing serious reconstruction. My first week there was spent working with Pisco Sin Fronteras, an all-volunteer organization that works on different reconstruction and construction projects while providing social services and working to create sustainability as well.  From my first moments there, I was impressed by this beautiful and ancient city.  At 11,600 feet above sea level high up in the Andes (compare to Denver at 5,200 ft.), one feels close to the sky, the sun, and the mountains.  It is unsurprising that Pachamama, the Inca mountain goddess who represents the mother, and Inti, the sun god who represents the father, have historically been such important figures in Peruvian culture. I was fortunate enough to attend the Inti Raymi sun festival, which happens every year during the winter solstice (June 21st).  It is the largest festival in South America, second only to Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.  Thousands of people flock to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, the last Inca stronghold against the Spanish, to watch the five hour-long theatrical ceremony ending with the sacrifice of a llama to Inti, much of which is performed in Quechua, the dialect of the Incan social elites.  There are simply too many things to say about the art, archeological sites, natural wonders, and the people of Peru.  I have not even scratched the surface of the amazing things I experienced there and how meaningful they were to me.  All I can say is that having sat in the dark in Susan Aberth’s Survey of Latin American Art class, looking at slides of the very things that I got to see this past summer, I am incredibly grateful to have had that art historical background and the passion of such a fabulous professor to enrich my knowledge and my travels.   For an art geek, like myself, Peru did not disappoint.


Samantha Erin Safer ’04

We are proud to announce that Samantha Erin Safer, Art History Department

Textile Design: Zandra Rhodes

Graduate of 2004 has just written a book titled Zandra Rhodes: Textile Revolution: Medals, Wiggles, and Pop 1961-1971.   Published by the Antiques Collectors Club, Ltd. in Suffolk, England, this lavishly illustrated book is a major study of the visionary British textile and fashion designer Rhodes.  Samantha became interested in Rhodes while studying abroad in London and interned with her design studio.  Not only did she write a fabulous senior project titled Zandra Rhodes and Her Knitted Circle: Creating the Woman and Her Work, 1965-1977 (Advisor Prof. Susan Aberth), but she also put on an exhibition of Rhodes’ textiles in the our Student Center.  Ms. Safer has two masters degrees: History of Design from the Royal College of Art, and Design Management from the London College of Fashion.  She is currently working for the Victoria & Albert Museum as the Brand Marketing Manager.  In addition, she was Assistant Curator of the Fashion and Textile Museum working on several exhibitions such as My Favorite Dress, Zandra Rhodes: A Life Long Love Affair with Textiles, Identity: Celebrating 25 Years of i.D Magazine, as well as various traveling exhibitions around Europe.  She was a contributing author to Lucile Ltd London (V&A, 2009) and Grace Kelly Style (V&A, 2010), and co-authored My Favorite Dress (ACC Editions, 2009).


Alumni News!

Inspired in part by Susan Aberth’s Outsider Art seminar (Fall ’09), recent graduate Alisa Saario (Class of 2010) and two friends spent the summer on a road trip across America discovering artists and their work. Check out her blog!,

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