Students who do cool things: Olivia Pecini RISD ’16 and Maddie Dennis RISD ’17, co-founders of Muse’s Milk

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Meet Olivia Pecini RISD ’16 and Maddie Dennis RISD ’17, co-founders of Muse’s Milk, a website that highlights “women working in various creative fields—to share their origin stories, promote their work, and offer readers advice from the women making the art world spin.” The talented RISD Animation-majors themselves have interviewed a range of professional women from production designers and art directors to writers and fashion photographers. I sat down, BlogDH-interviewer-to-Muse’s-Milk-interviewers (sooo meta), to learn more about the development and growth of the site. Check out the interview below if only to be reminded that our neighbors down the Hill are pretty f*cking cool.

BlogDH: In your own words, what is Muse’s Milk and how did the idea develop?

Olivia: It started back in January when Maddie and I realized that a lot of people at RISD don’t really have female artists as inspiration. Even we realized that in naming our favorite artists, most of them weren’t women.

Maddie: We’re both animation majors and the field is very male-dominated. Essentially, we wanted the site to be a place to celebrate women working in creative fields, whether it’s visual arts or music. It was an opportunity to poke around for interesting women in fields we want to be in.

BlogDH: Is there a story behind the name?

Olivia: Essentially we had no idea what to call it and we were coming up with names for a month, and constant streams of lousy titles. So then I asked my friend who’s an art history major for literally any reference that might be fitting. It was true desperation. She sent me a list, and there was this one that was really bizarre— “the muse’s milk.” Supposedly the breast milk of a muse will give you endless creativity.

Maddie: As soon as you told me about it you said, “this is pretty weird, but what do you think?” And I was like “oh yeah.” (laughs). I think we wanted something that made people question, and having a name like that will at least make people look at our site a little longer. We kind of went from there. It’s not a dramatic story, it just happened!

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folkmade.org launches tomorrow

folkmade websiteFolkmade.org, a website created by a small group of Brown students and led by Fiora MacPherson ’16, provides a platform for College Hill artists to share both their work and their stories.

The idea was conceived earlier this year, when MacPherson and some friends decided that it was time to improve connections between Brown/RISD artists and the greater College Hill community. Folkmade’s mission statement illustrates this goal; the website aims to “acknowledge the talent in our community” and “celebrate the homegrown makers of our campus” by giving them a way to share their work and their passion with their neighbors. And the organization has done just that; Folkmade will transform the presence of the local art community in everyday life on College Hill.

At folkmade.org, consumers can purchase authentic artwork created by Brown/RISD students. The single unifying feature of the products is their excellent quality; aside from that, the store features a wide array of incredible artwork that spans many styles and mediums. Currently, pieces range in price from $5 to $100 and the product list ranges from oil paintings all the way to literal benches. And that’s only the beginning.

According to MacPherson, the online store will grow with time; artwork will be added in frequent intervals, so the store functions as an ever-evolving showcase of the wealth of beautiful art being produced on the Hill.

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