Art School(ed): A 2015 holiday gift list, brought to you by RISD alumni

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.

For your family’s resident knit wit:
What do a woven pizza slice, a fashion world It-bag, and a quirky stuffed donkey have in common? They were all designed or handcrafted by someone who received a BFA in Textiles from RISD.
Degen socks are both merry and bright.
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The winner of The Most Irreverent Gift Money Can Buy Award is a tie between Kayla Mattes’ woven pizza slices and New Friends’ beach towel patterned with sheep and dogs.

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Art School(ed): A survey of Providence’s wallpapers

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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.)

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Playing at the Cable Car Cinema: Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict

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Perhaps you’re acquainted with Blog’s column, This Week at the Avon. Meet the Avon’s sulky, redheaded step-sister: the hip, closer-to-sea-level competitor, Cable Car Cinema and Cafe. Cable Car, located on seabreezy South Main Street, has recently been deemed “Best Art House Cinema in New England” by Yankee Magazine.

Last we spoke about the Cable Car, the year was 2014 and the theatre had extended Finding Vivian Maier’s run on their silver screen. This week, Cable Car has resurrected Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict in response to the wildly popular screening on opening night of the First Annual Providence Art & Design Film Festival, hosted by the RISD Museum. (As noted in Harper’s Bazaar, Guggenheim gave the RISD Museum one of her first Pollock drip paintings and one of her Jéan Helions, too.)

The film is directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, who gave us the exceptional movie The Eye Has To Travel about her grandmother-in-law, legendary Vogue editrix Diana Vreeland. (My grandfather recently watched the Vreeland documentary on Netflix and revered the “entertaining and informative” film for its “fantastic editing job.” Though our opinions may vary when discussing the filmic merits of Napoleon Dynamite, we both recommend that you add The Eye Has To Travel to your queue.) With her second film Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict, Lisa I. Vreeland has established that powerful women with cultural capital are her beat.

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Art School(ed): RISD Wintersession 2016 Course Superlatives

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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

Most ambitious…

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

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Inaugurating RISD’s 17th President

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The Rhode Island School of Design is throwing a crazy house party this Fall Weekend. Kicking off on Friday, RISD’s annual alumni and parents’ weekend, RISD By Design, will conflate with the art school’s 17th Presidential Inauguration. As we mentioned last February, these ceremonies will formally introduce Rosanne Somerson to the community as RISD’s 17th President (and first ever female alum to be president!). In true RISD fashion, the Inauguration weekend is demarcated by its very own taxi cab-yellow graphic identity. For those of you sticking around campus for the long weekend, here’s a highlight reel of RISD events you can crash (a comprehensive list can be found here):

Friday October 9th, 2015

12 p.m.

RISD classes conclude in preparation for the Inauguration!

2 p.m. 

Inauguration commences underneath a tent at Roger Williams National Memorial. Three female RISD graduates, Janine Antoni, Kara Walker, and Nicole Miller, will deliver speeches.

5:30-6:30 p.m.

Adam Silverman, who received an Architecture degree from RISD in 1988, will deliver a keynote address about his multi-faceted career spent co-founding cult 90s fashion brands like X-Large and X-Girl (beloved by 90s It girls Chloë Sevigny and Sofia Coppola), and directing the wildly popular Heath Ceramics studio. Silverman will be speaking in RISD’s Metcalf Auditorium.

6 p.m. 

Then after the show, it’s the after party… RISD takes over Market Square, Moore Terrace, and Benefit Street. Lightning Bolt and other noteworthy RISD bands are slated to perform. Food (and drinks for those 21+ with cash) will be served.

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Where to observe National Lobster Day in Providence

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In early August, the U.S. Senate shelled out a few hours to approve a resolution that marked September 25th, 2015 as “National Lobster Day,” inspiring headlines like, “US Senate Gets Cracking & Passes National Lobster Day Bill.” If only our founding fathers could see us now, dedicating a day to the crustacean that was once in such abundance, it was deemed the underwater equivalent of a rat! (Following the recent glorification of Pizza Rat, you can expect to see the Senate approve a National Subway Rat Day in 2016.)

Since you probably missed the Maine Lobster Festival in late July (yeah, the one David Foster Wallace wrote about in his essay “Consider The Lobster“), and you probably gave up on the Shuckin Truck line at the Rhode Island Seafood Festival a few weeks ago, this is your chance to savor the last taste/chewy consistency of summer while engaging in a Senate-approved activity! Here’s a run-down of where to make your reservations or takeout plans to get your lobster fix this Friday:

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Yes, National Lobster day is technically on Friday. But certainly the most cost-friendly option is to kick off your celebration early and head down to Captain Seaweed’s tonight. Every Thursday, this beloved pub (located on the corner of Ives and Williams) gives out raffle tickets with every drink ordered, announcing the winner of a free tray with two lobsters and a bag of mussels at the end of the night. Our tips for winning and then how to cook your winnings can be found here.

2. Yoo

This isn’t my first time at the rodeo, so believe me when I say Yoo is the best sushi I’ve ever had in Providence. And, they deliver! (Important because no one I know has ever been to the physical establishment.) Yoo makes a Super Lobster Roll with lobster tempura, mango, avocado and soybean wrapped in seaweed. I admire any dish that sounds like it’s going to come in a buttered bun but is instead mostly composed of sticky rice.

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