Grads Connect through Open Studios

Last Friday night (November 11), RISD grad students from every major welcomed visitors for this fall’s Grad Open Studios event. I teamed up with my buddy MJ Tyson MFA 17 JM to drop in on as many studios as possible – and with 16 graduate degree programs spread out across campus, there was plenty to see. 

We started in Metcalf, home to Ceramics (my department) and Jewelry + Metalsmithing (MJ’s). Ceramics created a safe space for visitors and offered safety pins for anyone who wanted to express solidarity for fellow citizens of all backgrounds by wearing them on their lapels.

From there we went to the Furniture Design studio, where we enjoyed fresh popcorn and material samples ranging from red-dyed brush bristles to planks of wood inlaid with tiny gemstones.

We then made our way to the CIT – just in time for sweet, fresh berries and cupcakes courtesy of our friends in Textiles.

It’s always amazing to see how our peers use different mediums to express ideas and viewpoints, grappling with some of the same issues as we are.

“Open Studios is one of the rare occasions that fosters interdepartmental communication,” noted Painting major Sofia Ortiz MFA 17 PT. “I believe students are hungry for conversation that goes beyond medium.”

We chatted with friends we haven’t seen in a while and checked out great work in the BEB and Fletcher – where we were especially taken with video by Nathan Miller MFA 17 PH – before calling it a night.

“I really appreciate this opportunity to catch up with people outside of my department,” MJ said, as we each walked away inspired and ready to check out a few books we had added to our reading lists.

“safe here” photo by Chelsea Tapia 17 CR; other photos by Jo Sittenfeld MFA 08 PH
This blog post was originally published on the Rhode Island School of Design blog.

Anina Major