Winter break is nearly upon us, and with that comes the duty of shopping for your loved ones and drafting your own holiday wish list. Enter: Art School(ed), here to offer unconventional gift ideas (for the second year running) that simultaneously support RISD alums, both newly minted and old.
Our story begins with the Eliza Ward House on the corner of Benefit and George. At night, the perceptive pedestrian might notice a glimpse of something peculiar through the window: a series of panoramic wallpapers in the house Joseph Brown, a founder of Brown University, built and designed the house for his daughter, Eliza Ward, in 1814. Ward had commissioned the woodblock-printed, full color scenes from Dufour & Cie, a French manufacturer of painted wallpapers and fabrics, and they remain to this day (thanks to thorough restorationists). Panoramic scenes transform the Bosphorus Room and the Incas Room into 19th century marvels. While the wallpaper titled “Les Rives du Bosphore” (On the Banks of the Bosporus) is loosely based on palm tree-laden landscapes of Turkey, the panel above the fireplace mantel depicts a pine-treed scene from Maine, reflecting Ward’s personal affinity for the northernmost New England state. The print “Les Incas” portrays an imagined scene of explorer Francisco Pizarro’s first encounters with the Incas. (For a more in-depth explanation of the house’s history and restoration process, check out Houzz’s Room of the Day article on the Eliza Ward House.)
After a brief hiatus, Art School(ed) returns with another round of Course Superlatives! While BlogDailyHerald has already released Brown’s Spring 2016 course superlatives, registration period for Wintersession at the Rhode Island School of Design is now upon us. For one month, Wintersession allows students to enroll in only one intensive studio course and encourages them to explore areas outside of their major without the distraction of a full course load. This mini-term is a mandatory program for those enrolled at RISD, although course credit can also be earned by completing a five or six week internship.
If you’ve taken VISA 0100, you know the drill: you are free to peruse the artsy course selections available at RISD. While the ritziest classes fill up first (don’t set your sights on Beginning Hot Glass or Digital Embroidery), there are sure to be spots available elsewhere for a Brunonian’s first foray into five hour studio classes. Acknowledging the classic obstacles RISD will set before you (notoriously small class sizes, a neurotic premium on quality control, etc.), Course Superlatives are here, in a format reminiscent of your cherished high school yearbook, to help you navigate the art school’s course catalog. Please refer to page 299 for the Wintersession spread. If you’re serious about pursuing a January abroad at the westward art school, befriend a RISD kid and use their student login to see which classes are full and how to contact teachers of the classes that appeal to you. If you’re looking to get your hands dirty at RISD this winter without logging all those hours or coming back to school early, consider attending a RISD Quickie (more on that over here).
Without further ado, Art School(ed) presents this year’s RISD Wintersession Course Superlatives:
Most likely to be the premise of the next Mary Kate and Ashley movie…
APPAREL 3052: ITALY: SHOE DESIGN PERCEPTION, HISTORY & PROTOTYPING
Most likely to teach you how to produce viral content of Hotline Bling caliber…
GRAPHIC DESIGN 3260: MUSIC VIDEO
HISTORY OF ART AND VISUAL CULTURE H757: COLLECTING THE WORLD
Most uninspired riff off of Hamlet…
ILLUSTRATION 3768: 2-D OR NOT 2-D
Most nudity per tuition dollar…
INTERDISCPILINARY STUDIES 1510: FIGURE MODELING MARATHON
The first thing to notice when attending a RISD Apparel Department Runway show is the decorum of the Providence Performing Arts Center. From the lobby’s archway to the exquisite mixture of red and gold that colors the entire space, the Center – once known as the Palace Concert Theater – is nothing short of beautiful. In the 70’s, the space was used exclusively for rock concerts and one can only imagine the spectacle of chaotic rock ‘n’ roll contrasting with the ornate, royal beauty of such a space.
That contrast seemed present this past weekend at RISD’s runway show, Collection 2015. Often with heavy electronic tracks playing in the background (mixed by Jackson Hallberg ’15), the student designers showcased their best work. The main crux of the show was the senior thesis work of 17 graduating students who presented an all-encompassing range of work with tickling collection titles such as “*tween Queen *” (Yuan Peng Wu ’15) and “What’s your Packaging” (Elizabeth Hilfiger ’15).
That’s not to say the sophomores and juniors didn’t present strongly. Notable collections included Adam Dalton Blake’s (’16) outlandish “Judy’s Boys” inspired by wrestling, as well as more subtle collections like Jingxin Xu’s cut-and-sew project “Coleoptera.” Each student’s vision felt present in the designs; some flamboyant in their choice of colors and fabrics, others more bespoke. This was in part due to the different projects each class year had been assigned. The work from the Class of 2017, for instance, was broken up into two projects: Re-Innovative and Print. The Re-Innovative Project, centered around the use of recycled materials, stood out at the show; Noah Pica’s collection “Untamed” used materials like shredded backpack straps to mimic the aesthetic of fur. Pica cited a “tumultuous relationship with my body hair” as inspiration for the look.
The senior theses expanded upon some of the ideas and concepts present in the collections of the younger classes. Each student’s collection was supplemented by an introductory video – sometimes as simple as a close-up shot of a young woman eating brightly colored macarons or as pacifying as watching a figure standing out in the ocean, balancing on a jut of rocks, her large white and blue cloak flapping in the breeze. With sounds of heavy bass reverberating throughout the theater, models presented the senior projects, sometimes with astute poise, and at other times eating bananas. Pushing the envelope was Andrea Dyes’ “Congenital,” a collection of spherical designs that seemed to question modern notions of beauty and appeal. The elegant collections inspired the typical jaw-dropping that RISD Apparel is known for inducing, while the aristocratic, sometimes pompous, glitterati that NYFW and other fashion shows are known for was noticeably absent. Every single collection felt sincere and determined in its vision, however peculiar that vision might be.
If you missed out on NYFW15 or “StyleWeek Northeast” at the Biltmore Hotel, this is the moment to culturally redeem yourself. RISD’s Apparel Design department is hosting its annual spring runway show on May 9th at the Providence Performing Arts Center. Featuring work from seniors, juniors, and sophomores, the show promises innovative and unconventional pieces ranging from recycled fabric haute couture to bespoke sports jackets. The runway show will be guest juried by a really cool group of fashion gurus including designers Simon Spurr and Derek Lam as well as Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) senior projects manager Neil Gliks.
There are two chances to see the show: one at 2 p.m. and then again at 7 p.m. You should buy tickets here. Check out the department’s Facebook page and snazzy new website to get a sense of all the amazing work that will be in the show. Continue Reading
Tomorrow, the Rhode Island School of Design technicians will go on strike after months of contract negotiations with the school’s administration.
The RISD technicians serve as an invaluable resource for the school: these men and women teach courses and maintain the studios and shops throughout campus. As they go on strike, most of the facilities on campus will be deemed unsafe and consequently shut down, including kilns, wood shops, metal shops, glass blowing furnaces, darkrooms, and cages where students check out various equipment like tripods, cameras and recording devices.
The RISD Technician Union has outlined its contractual requests on their website. In short, the techs would like a restoration of retirement contributions (which were cut significantly in 2009 due to the economic recession), annual wage increases similar to those of RISD faculty members, and external tuition remission (a reimbursement of employees’ children’s higher education tuition costs if their child attends a school other than RISD). Additionally, the techs object to a raise in their healthcare premiums. To read the union’s request in full, click here.
In an e-mail to the school’s student body, RISD’s chief operating officer Jean Eddy and interim provost Pradeep Sharma wrote: