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Dee Hibbert-Jones

Dee Hibbert-Jones, Faculty Leader

Art (Sculpture / Public Art)
Affiliate Faculty DANM, FDM, Legal Studies
Founder, co-director Social Practice Research Center SPARC at UCSC

Dee Hibbert-Jones is an Academy Award nominated, Emmy® award winning filmmaker and internationally recognized artist. Her work incorporates animation, installation, public art and documentary film examining power and politics: how people manage and who gets heard. She explores diverse subjects from land use and wasted resources, to criminal justice and indigent rights: examining what is considered valuable and who is dismissed as valueless.

Hibbert-Jones is a Guggenheim Fellow. She was most recently awarded a United States Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Braintrust Award in recognition for her outstanding national commitment to civil rights, and social justice. The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University awarded Hibbert-Jones the 2015 Filmmaker Award with Nomi Talisman, the California Public Defenders Association awarded them both the 2016 Gideon Award for support to indigent minorities.

She teaches sculpture, public art and digital art new media, and advises in film and social documentary. Her short film, installation and new media projects have been exhibited worldwide in exhibitions, museums and festivals; broadcast internationally and shown on Netflix. Her most recent animated documentary film Last Day of Freedom (co-directed with Nomi Talisman) won Best Short Documentary at the International Documentary (IDA) Awards 2015, a Northern California Emmy 2016 and was nominated for an 88th Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject. The film screened internationally at over thirty international festivals and won eleven festival awards including: Best Short, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Best Short Documentary Hamptons International Film Festival, Golden Strands Award, Outstanding Documentary Short, Tall Grass KS, the 2015 Platinum Award Winner Spotlight Documentary Series, as well as the Award of Recognition at the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards and it was a CINE Eagle Award Documentary Short Finalist. Hibbert-Jones’ work is in the collections of the Israeli Center for Digital Art, the Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences, the DeRosa Preserve, Stanford University, Bennington College , University of North Carolina, University of California, Santa Cruz, ArtsBlock UC Riverside, University of California, Berkeley , Duke University Library, Recology Artist’s Collection and the Savidge Collection at the MacDowell Colony.


Barbara Benish 

Barbara Benish, Second Program Leader

Barbara Benish is an artist, curator, writer and farmer. She studied Ethnography & Art at the University of Hawai’i, and Painting at Claremont Graduate University, receiving a Masters of Fine Arts in 1988. Benish has also studied at the Royal Academy of Art in Stockholm (scholarship) and Academia del Bellas Artes in Mexico. Throughout the 1980’s Benish was engaged first-hand in the historical changes in Central Europe, culminating in an exchange exhibition of Czech and U.S. artists she co-curated in 1989, the first in fifty years. She moved from Los Angeles to Prague in 1993 as a Fulbright scholar and stayed. Her artwork has been in hundreds of international exhibitions and is in permanent collections, including P.S.1 Museum in New York, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Yale Library, the Stadtgeschichtliche Museen in Nurnberg, Germany, and the National Gallery in Prague.

Benish is Founding Director of Art Dialogue, a Czech NGO (est. 2004) which produces exhibitions, workshops, and an artist-in-residency program at ArtMill , a center focusing on sustainable art in the Czech countryside. She divides her time between šumava and California where she was a Fellow at the Social Practice Arts Research Center at University of California Santa Cruz , USA, (2013-15) and is still active. From 2010-15, Benish was Advisor on Arts, Education and Outreach to the United Nations Safe Planet Campaign on Hazardous Chemicals and Waste, and participated in numerous UN Conferences. She was a contributor to the legislation on both plastic pollution issues as well as transformative education at the U.N. Benish’s current research is focused on art and farming, on which she is co-authoring another book, to be published in 2020.

Barbara Benish lectures in both Visual Studies and teaches Studio Art.

A Message to Students and Their Loved Ones

This class has two distinct components: week 1 we travel to two major European cities, attend walking tours with artists and visit major museums, reading discussions take place in museum cafes, there is an in-progress artwork/diary due and artist lectures. Weeks 2 and 3 are on site at ArtMill, a converted Mill and working farm in the Czech countryside which has a strong emphasis on sustainable living and artmaking. Students work with found materials on site, meet visiting artists who lecture and critique students work alongside UCSC faculty professor Dee Hibbert-Jones. There are opportunities to create artwork in the landscape, as well as work and exhibit in studios inside the converted Mill. Students should bring work clothes for artmaking and working outdoors. There is an open campfire where we cook hot herbal tea, evenings meals are frequently cooked over the open fire.