The Fall of Fall

If you’re anything like me, you’re trying to hold on to these last days of autumn. You find yourself Snapchatting trees that stop you in your tracks, or picking leaves up off of the sidewalk to press into your journal. Your walks have gotten longer as your fingers have gotten colder and your sneakers are always crunching through the fallen heroes of the season.

What’s that? That’s just me? You, like, actually do your homework?

Visit the library?


Okay, well you’ll be feeling this autumnal nostalgia soon enough when the temperature drops below zero and the world is colorless and bleak. While most of the leaves have lost their luster, some remain.

To capture these the last of this season, I got out my angstiest camera lens and went for a nice little wander throughout campus ~a le flâneur. Fortunately, the sky was especially dismal for me to capture this deeply poetic season for your sadboi viewing pleasure (read: my self-gratification). I encourage you to track down each of these trees and sit under them for a while until you encounter some deep enlightenment or freeze to death — whichever comes first.

Without further ado or anymore obnoxious clichés, I present to you mediocre photos of trees:

These pure #nofilter trees truly capture the beauty of Ruth Simmons. Sit under them while wearing a scarf and reading Dostoyevski, and Brown’s camera guy will definitely put you in a brochure.

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Know your Lecture Board candidates: Brandon Stanton

Brandon Stanton, creator of the Humans of New York blog, with his camera February 22, 2013 across the street from Union Square in New York. Some like New York's skyscrapers, bridges, his energy, taxis or lights. But Brandon Stanton has set himself another challenge: photograph of 10,000 inhabitants for a blog now famous "Humans of New York." In two years, he has photographed 5,000 New Yorkers, children leaving school, tramps, fashionistas, New York with a bouquet of tulips, old lady with a cane, municipal employees, etc. And nearly 560,000 fans now follow his Facebook page.AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

If you’ve ever dreamed of having your photo circulate to millions of people on social media, this could be your chance (well, realistically, probably not, but still get excited). The Lecture Board has offered up Brandon Stanton as a candidate for Spring 2016, and this could be your chance to make it big. Stanton is the creator of Humans of New York, a blog that features photos of New Yorkers Stanton runs into on the streets, Started in 2010, the blog catapulted to success through the rise in social media use, and the HONY Facebook page now has over 16 million likes. In addition to running the uber popular blog, Stanton is the author of three books, one of which spent 45 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list.

“I’m trying really, really hard to be authentic. Sometimes I’m successful, but other times I overthink it and a lot of bullshit comes out.”

Posted by Humans of New York on Sunday, November 30, 2014


For those looking for an inspiration to follow a dream, Stanton is a classic example of someone who pursues their passion. Taking photos was not a viable source of income for a long time in New York, but he spent hours every day doing just that in an effort to share stories and connect New York. Stanton has become a type expert on interaction with strangers, with the ability to pull out intimate details of peoples’ lives in a comparatively short period of time. His ability to connect with strangers would create an interesting dialogue in a lecture setting, and Stanton could offer insight for finding commonalities among strangers within the Brown Community. Stanton has also closely interacted with Syrian refugees through a recent trip to Greece, Hungary, Croatia, and Austria. Given the current refugee crisis, Stanton might speak about the situation and offer insight on what it is like for Syrians to have to flee their country, often losing loved ones along the way.

“My husband and I sold everything we had to afford the journey. We worked 15 hours a day in Turkey until we had enough…

Posted by Humans of New York on Monday, September 28, 2015

Don’t forget to vote for Stanton or any of the other Lecture Board candidates here!

Image via 

Art School(ed): Understanding Andy Warhol’s Photographs at the RISD Museum


In 2007, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. established The Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program in order to celebrate the foundation’s 20th anniversary. The Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program donated approximately 28,500 of Warhol’s original photographs to more than 180 American college and university museums and galleries. The program selected the RISD Museum as a beneficiary of the program, and the invaluable gift of about 150 photographic works is on display in full at the museum now for this season’s blockbuster exhibition, Andy Warhol’s Photographs.

The show can be viewed in conjunction with the Warhol print Race Riot in the permanent collection gallery, and a nearby, complementary exhibition of Warhol’s screen tests (silent, slo-mo four minute film portraits of Warhol’s celebrity social circle, including Edie Sedgwick, Lou Reed, Susan Sontag, Bob Dylan, etc). The curators have transformed the RISD Museum into a Warholian wonderland.


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Art School(ed): RISD Alumni Cheat Sheet, Part 1

HistoryScenario: You find yourself at a house party, and your intrigue is piqued by an unfamiliar collegian across the room, wearing a paint-splattered t-shirt emblazoned with the RISD seal. It’s a classic conundrum: two kids from the opposite sides of town, searching for some common ground. You could initiate conversation with age-old ice breakers—”are your calves so defined from walking up the Hill every day?” or, “is it true that you have 8-hour-long studio classes?!” But why not distinguish yourself as the burgeoning free-thinker you are, and discuss the many artists who walked these streets before you did? Maybe you won’t run into any new RISD kids this semester (they won’t be seeing much daylight as they prepare for their impending final critiques), but why not go home for break and impress your mom with these fun facts about artistic beginnings on College Hill? After all, you live in Providence, the self-proclaimed creative capital of the US, and college has transformed you into a learned sophisticate!

Here is your cheat sheet of some eccentric and accomplished artists who have graced the College Hill grounds currently beneath your feet, after the jump:

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Alums who do cool things: Daniel Byers ’08


In the hierarchy of badass jobs one can have, there are a few standouts: astronaut, Alaskan crab fisherman, falconer, professional skydiver (to name a few). But there’s still one more that really takes the cake as the most hardcore, badass job on the planet, and that’s the National Geographic Photographer. These photographers put themselves through the ultimate tests in order to get the most incredible shots, and it takes a special kind of person to want to stay up for hours on end—covered in god knows what—just to take a photo of a bird that no one has ever been seen before.


Daniel Byers ’08

One of our very own is that special kind of person: Daniel Byers ’08 is an alum who has worked as a photographer for National Geographic and USAID. He also produces films about environmental and health issues along with Joey Brunelle ’07. Together, they have created films that cover issues around the world, including climate change, the preservation tropical ecosystems, and healthcare in Nepal.

We asked Daniel about his time at Brown and some of the work that he has done. Check out our interview with the brave alum after the jump. Continue Reading

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


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