Art School(ed): Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

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The RISD Board of Trustees and their search committee have been working since former President John Maeda’s abrupt departure in December 2014 to find the next president of the Rhode Island School of Design.

Today, Chairman of the Board Michael Spalter announced that current interim president Rosanne Somerson has been named RISD’s 17th permanent president. In Michael Spalter’s school-wide email, he listed Somerson’s many qualifications given the RISD path she has paved for herself, “having previously risen from [Industrial Design] student to alumna and practicing designer to part-time faculty member to full-time faculty member to graduate program director to co-founder and long-time department head of our Furniture Design department to interim associate provost to interim provost to provost to interim president.”

Somerson can finally get comfortable in that historic 21-room, three-story house on Bowen Street. To learn more about RISD’s new and fearless leader, check out president.risd.edu/bio.

The Who once said, “meet the new boss, same as the old boss,” and that is music to RISD’s ears!

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What to do this week: February 19 – 21

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Thursday, February 19:

If you caught Sunday night’s episode of Girls, you’ll remember that the show introduced a new character named Mimi Rose Howard, who went to RISD and graduated with a BFA in Sculpture. If this reference whet your appetite for gallery-hopping at the neighborhood art school, you’re in luck! Thursday is packed with back-to-back openings. May you meet many young artists who go by “a woman’s name and a man’s name with a flower stuck in the middle of it.”

Event: Apparel Department Opening Reception
Location: Woods-Gerry House, 62 Prospect St.
Time: 6 – 7:30 p.m.

This exhibition will showcase the work of RISD’s Apparel undergraduates: consider it the Providence version of Fashion Week.

Event: ‘2015 RISD Faculty Biennial’ opening reception
Location: RISD Museum, 224 Benefit St.
Time: 7 – 9:00 p.m.

RISD’s version of the Whitney Biennial, this show highlights new work by the artists and designers who teach at RISD. The museum guarantees a show as diverse as RISD’s course catalog, boasting apparel, textiles, painting, printmaking, ceramics, glass, sculpture, illustration, photography, jewelry, metal-smithing, graphic design, industrial design, architecture, landscape architecture, interior architecture, film, animation, digital media, furniture, and more.

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Art School(ed): RISD Quickies

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As Brunonians ween themselves off of their committed relationship with Netflix enjoy a briefly noncommittal relationship with their course load during shopping period, “RISDians” approach the final stretch of Wintersession, a required mini-term between fall and spring semester when students take one or two classes on campus, intern somewhere for credit, or study abroad. Wintersession offers RISD kids a welcome change of pace from their usual workload, and the students take the time to kick back, relax, or experiment with different mediums.

In the spirit of RISD’s tendency to label all they hold dear with a borderline NSFW moniker, enterprising RISD-ites have organized RISD Quickies, a forum where students teach workshops to their peers on a topic of their choice or expertise. RISD Quickies are not RISD exclusive: Brown students are encouraged to attend workshops, and in the past few weeks, Brunonians have led Quickies on how to maintain leather goods and how to create neon signs. Quickie season is not over yet: several workshops will be offered before Wintersession comes to a close. Check the schedule and come on down the hill to learn how to fly a drone, sew with LEDs, or make GIFs.

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

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This Friday will mark the first day that it is socially acceptable to listen to holiday music. With Handel’s Messiah and Sevivon, sov, sov, sov come all of the trappings of the holiday season: inflated ornaments at the Providence Place Mall, tents lining the parking lots of Best Buy (no, not that Best Buy),  and family members requesting your own Christmahanakwanza wish list.

Art School(ed) is here to help you with the ever-daunting task of drafting up that Christmahanakwanza gift list, drawing only from the fruits of RISD alumni’s labor. After the jump, check out the products crafted and designed by graduates of Brown’s creative neighbor.

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Art School(ed): RISD’s Course Superlatives 2014-2015

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Art School(ed) returns with another round of Course Superlatives! Yes, BlogDailyHerald has already thoroughly explored Brown’s Fall 2014 courses, but today marks the first day of classes down the hill at the Rhode Island School of Design. If you’ve taken VISA 0100, you know the drill: you are free to peruse the artsy course selections available at RISD. This upcoming week allows Brown students the opportunity to cram a 5-hour studio class into an already-busy course load. Acknowledging the classic obstacles RISD will set before you (notoriously small class sizes, a neurotic premium on quality control, etc.), these Course Superlatives are here to help you navigate the art school’s course catalog and streamline your RISD assimilation process – in a format reminiscent of your high school yearbook. Without further ado, we present this year’s RISD Course Superlatives:

Punniest…

PAINTING 4406: PAINTING FOCUS: GO FIGURE

Most likely to improve your #TBT game…

PHOTOGRAPHY 5340: FAMILY ALBUM

Most useful for students who live off-campus…

CERAMICS 4122: TABLEWARE

Most alliterative…

HISTORY OF ART AND VISUAL CULTURE H713: ART IN THE AGE OF ALEXANDER

LITERARY ARTS E326: BIRDS IN BOOKS

ILLUSTRATION 3048: VOICE + VISION

Most twinning…

HISTORY/PHILOSOPHY/SOCIAL SCIENCES S597: PROPAGANDA

ILLUSTRATION 3024: PROPAGANDA

Most foot-centric…

APPAREL 3052: *ITALY: SHOE DESIGN PERCEPTION, HISTORY & PROTOTYPING

TEXTILES W470: THE WOVEN RUG

ILLUSTRATION 3700: THE TWO-LEGGED PRINT

Most fun to say aloud…

HISTORY/PHILOSOPHY/SOCIAL SCIENCES C350: THIS IS THE WOONASQUATUCKET: STORIES OF A LIVING RIVER

LITERARY ARTS E289: THINGAMAJIGIRL: OBJECTS, HUMANS, FEMININITY

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Art School(ed): Things I learned from Patti Smith’s lecture

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Each year, the RISD Museum presents a legendary guest lecturer for the Gail Silver Memorial Lecture series. Past lecturers have included photographer Sally Mann, Soundsuit inventor Nick CaveNew Yorker staff cartoonist Roz Chast, conceptual artist Jenny Holzer, and feminist sculptor Lynda Benglis. This year, the lecture series’ announcement caused quite the commotion: Patti Smith was coming to Providence.

This annual lecture tends to sell out within minutes, but in some twist of fate I scored a ticket. I read Smith’s memoir Just Kids a few years ago, but remained wary of the book because of the ghostwriter rumors surrounding it. However, in the span of Patti Smith’s hour-and-45-minute lecture, I had been converted: I am now a full-fledged Patti Smith fangirl. Classic RISD student, I know.

As a memoirist, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, photographer, poet, and godmother of punk, Patti Smith knows how to command a stage. She recited her own poems, read from her memoir, and jammed out to her songs, all while maintaining a conversational tone and keeping it totally cool. She started the night off with her poem “The Lovecrafter,” as a tribute to H.P. Lovecraft and the city of Providence. But had I not known Smith’s entire curriculum vitae before seeing her speak, I would have thought that she reigned the stand-up comedy world, seeing as she cracked jokes at her old age and overall messiness throughout the lecture.

Here are the three most resonant vignettes that Patti Smith bestowed upon us at the 37th annual Gail Silver Memorial Lecture, after the jump. Continue Reading