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Fall Crits Light Up Campus

Fall Crits Light Up Campus

RISD students in every department present their work to peers, faculty members and visiting critics.

Angela Dufresne leads a Painting crit

Angela Dufresne leads an undergraduate Painting crit.

RISD’s campus came alive in early December as students in every department shared inspired work completed during the fall 2021 semester. At a Painting crit led by Associate Professor Angela Dufresne, the class focused on work by junior Tara Sabini 23 PT, whose dramatically lit large-scale self-portraits seem to reckon with past trauma. “I respect the way that light hits the objects I paint, but I’m not interested in rendering them realistically,” the artist explained. Fellow painter Blue Brooks-O’Leary 23 PT prepared to show her work exploring masculinity and sexuality in an adjoining space.

a Painting student prepares for a crit

a Ceramics student presents a figurative piece

anti-racist banners on campus
Top to bottom: junior Blue Brooks-O’Leary 23 PT prepares to show a series of paintings reflecting on sexuality, grad student Miguel Enrique Lastra MFA 22 CR presents a figurative piece in the Metcalf Building and colorful banners by Graphic Design student Zoë Pulley MFA 23 GD call out Rhode Island’s role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

The Furniture Design department welcomed insights from a range of guest critics including curator Glenn Adamson, co-host of the online interview series Design in Dialogue. He described drawings by senior Catharina Fernandes Dobal 22 FD as “fierce and present” and suggested that she explore the abstract in addition to the functional.

A moving performance by sophomore Cassius Pickens 24 FD highlighted the double-topped drum table he built of sapele, African mahogany and Sitka spruce. He rapped in French as his friend accompanied him on percussion. Fellow sophomore Angelina Pei 24 IL also wowed the room with a beautifully constructed wooden table incorporating an unexpected crocheted element.

a crowded room at a Furniture Design crit

a puzzle made of colored concrete

Furniture Design student raps to accompaniment of handmade drum
Top to bottom: sophomore Cameron Lasson 24 FD presents work to a packed Prov-Wash auditorium, design for a seven-piece concrete puzzle by senior Louise Ferlet 22 FD and sophomore Cassius Pickens 24 FD rapping to the rhythm of his handmade drum table.

Down the street in the College Building, graduate Textiles students including Fisayo Quadri MFA 22 TX and Zahra Tyebjee MFA 22 TX showed an array of colorful prints, while Ceramics student Miguel Enrique Lastra MFA 22 CR presented a massive, figurative piece in the Metcalf Building to the sound of experimental electronic music he’d created using weather data recordings.

a textiles student in crit

detail of a black-and-white textile

a textiles student shows a handmade book

a Textiles student presents work in crit
Grad students Fisayo Quadri MFA 22 TX and Zahra Tyebjee MFA 22 TX show recently created textiles to a roomful of critics.

After a mostly virtual Academic Year 20–21, the joy and energy generated by live crits was palpable and welcome.

Simone Solondz / photos by Jo Sittenfeld MFA 08 PH

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