Inaugurating RISD’s 17th President

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 10.07.26 PM

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.

Continue Reading

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

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 1.27.53 PM

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

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

Image via