Given a mix of freedom and discipline, Painting majors develop the purpose, confidence and critical and technical skills necessary to express their ideas as artists. Fellow students and faculty also offer critical and emotional support, which is especially important for the emergence of strong personal work. Overall, the department offers a stimulating atmosphere conducive to exploration and growth.
Graduates are prepared to:
• demonstrate strong visual, verbal and technical skills
• recognize the interdependence of content and form
• appreciate context and physical properties vital to works
of art not designed for reproduction
• demonstrate enhanced critical reasoning with broad
historical overviews and social insight
• support intellectual and academic freedom
• deliver discerning critiques of their own work and that of
• create new works of art
Painting majors form a supportive community united by a strong work ethic and an eagerness to experiment. Students and faculty in the department share a respect for the tradition of painting along with a keen interest in its evolving contemporary manifestations. Visiting artists and critics bring new perspectives to the conversation and the recent addition of an endowed position known as the Kirloskar Visiting Scholar in Painting supports focused exploration of Indian art and culture.
Headquartered in a former 19th-century church originally designed by architect Thomas Tefft, the Painting department offers a dedicated gallery for student work along with well-lit and appropriately ventilated studios for electives and home spaces. Just next door, the RISD Museum offers ready access to its amazing collection of Painting and Sculpture from almost every period and genre, along with countless other works of art from around the world. Direct study of these works provides students with invaluable insights and inspiration, as does hands-on access to specimens in the Nature Lab and in the Fleet Library’s extraordinary collection of artists’ books.
Aaron Lehman BFA 2013
Alma Sinai BFA 2013
Madeleine Jennings BFA 2013
Paige DeVries BFA 2013
Hyun Min Choi BFA 2013
After RISD’s required year of Foundation Studies, sophomores entering the program are introduced to basic concepts and techniques that foster the development of a personal visual vocabulary. Juniors continue to expand and strengthen their visual and technical skills through studio work that allows for in-depth exploration of content and meaning.
After gaining increasing control over the direction of their work and thought processes, seniors devote much of the final year to producing an independently conceived Degree Project subject to evaluation by the Painting faculty, along with peers and outside critics.
All freshman applicants apply to RISD as opposed to a specific department and begin with a required year of Experimental and Foundation Studies. Students select a major midway through the first year but don’t begin those programs until sophomore year.
For more information or to begin the application process, visit the Apply page.
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