Bob Bingham’s art practice incorporates systems of growth utilizing people, live plants, natural materials and renewable resources to address ecological issues. He addresses issues pertaining to a sustainable future where humans, technology, and both the built and natural environment can exist in a symbiotic relationship.
Bingham’s work has been widely exhibited in the United States, Italy and Japan including The ICA, Philadelphia; The Brooklyn Museum; The Andy Warhol Museum; Mattress Factory, PGH, PA; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; Kanagawa Hall Gallery, Yokohama, Japan; Rico Gallery, Santa Monica; Paine Weber Art Gallery, New York. He has had many public installations including Creative Time’s Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage; Piazza del’ St. Stepheno Rome, Italy and the first Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Biennial. He co-directed an interdisciplinary team effort, The Nine Mile Run Greenway Project that culminated in exhibits at the Wood Street Galleries and the Regina Miller Gallery, CMU, Pittsburgh. This greenway project led to the formation of the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association and the largest urban ecological stream restoration in the United States.
Bingham received a BA in art from Montana State University, Bozeman and a MFA from University of California, Davis. He is currently Professor and Associate Head of the School of Art and a Distinguished Fellow in the STUDIO For Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University. His work has been acknowledged with awards and grants including the NEA, PA Council on the Arts, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Art Matters, Inc., etc.
His art practice evolved from ‘green’ mixed media installations, into the public realm to address and transform urban water, land and agricultural issues; interconnectedness between the natural and built environment. The role of the artist became a catalyst and a facilitator of conversations to drive community-based participation toward a successful outcome. This evolution directly affected his teaching practice. Bingham created a new course, Environmental Sculpture, in 1996 as part of the Environment Across the Curriculum Initiative at Carnegie Mellon. As a member of the University’s Green Practices Committee, he advised a student project, and then taught a course to conceptually design and implement a 4000 sq. ft. ‘living roof ‘ on campus. Another collaborative project, Greenscape, was created in conjunction with the School of Architecture’s Design and Build Studio to ‘literally’ grow the 2007 Solar Decathlon House. As part of the Greening of Early Undergraduate Education Initiative, he began teaching a university-wide course, EcoArt, a collaboration with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy to address removal of invasive species, soil retention issues and rain gardens in Phipps Run, Schenley Park. This course now continues at a variety of other locations and with other organizations.
An offshoot of the WeGrow, Urban Farming initiative in Homewood, PA led to a long-term collaborative project, One Mile Garden, to establish a community-based urban farming and food distribution program in York, Alabama. More recently he completed a collaborative team project, a Permaculture Orchard with and for the Second United Presbyterian Church, with the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, PGH Permaculture and Lazae LaSpina. Currently he is engaged in a collaborative team project, Living Larimer, 101 INfiltrations, with Betsy Damon, Lazae LaSpina and the Larimer Green Team to demonstrate a variety of strategies to capture water for the benefit of the community, and to serve as a model of successful community-integrated green infrastructure.