My first downtown art show: Clerestory


To me, RISD students are like majestic birds and sometimes, I just want to be part of their world. Or at least go to one of their parties. This semester, I decided to follow that dream. No, I didn’t start sneaking into their studios; I simply resolved to go to as many RISD and RISD-Brown events as possible. Slowly, I would become a regular at Carr Haus begin to see things as they did.

Last Monday, I went to my first downtown art exhibit put on by Clerestory magazine to celebrate their 50th issue. It was said that there would be steak and cake. FREE FOOD.

So, I made my way down the Hill, eager to get a taste of the RISD and Brown art scene, and of the alleged cake. Finally, according to the little dot on Google maps, I was here, but I wasn’t sure where to enter. I asked in my most aloof tone possible if this was where the Clerestory event was, or you know, whatever. Maybe I should have used the word “function” instead of “event” to sound more cultured. Wait, no.

 I went into the upstairs space and immediately scanned the area for the cake, but to my dismay found only the ravaged remains.


Frosting to cake ratio, 4:1

There weren’t any eating utensils left, so I scooped up a piece with my hands and plopped it on a lonely napkin that was lying around. I proceeded to languidly walk around the room and admired the various art pieces. They were all either amazingly intricate, or delightfully minimalistic. Either way, I was loving this new lifestyle of mine.


I see a rhinoceros

There was one piece that particularly caught my eye, and I spent several minutes trying to deconstruct and unpack it. The painter of this piece finally came out from a back room after harassing asking the organizers of the event if I could speak to him about his amazing work. He shared his brilliant insight with me, going on about stroke size and color choice. I might have teared up a bit.

Too many feelings to feel

Just when I was about to leave, I noticed that a big bowl on the back table was now being filled with a pale rosy water, and disregarding all the advice my elders ever gave me about not drinking sketchy looking liquids, decided to poor me a cup. It was yummy. I got some more. It wasn’t until I started walking back up the hill that it began to hit me, and I was incredibly tempted to take off my high-heel booties so my feet wouldn’t combust. But, walking up the hill without shoes in a stumbling zig-zag motion was not characteristic of me. I mean, it wasn’t even Friday yet.

Overall, I’m glad I decided to check out this event. Staying at home and catching up on Game of Thrones wouldn’t have been as fun, though, to be frank, I missed my dose of dragons and incest that night. It was nice to get outside of the Brown bubble, and looking at beautiful art can be so invigorating! As I fell asleep, I giddily thought of how my début into the college art scene was the start of something beautiful. I dreamt of Rothko that night.


I leave you with these surrealist grapefruits (or something more suggestive?)

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