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Fresh Finds, Locally Made

Fresh Finds, Locally Made

More than 300 Rhode Island artists – many with ties to RISD – are showing work in the RISD Museum’s first regional survey in 20 years.

More than 300 Rhode Island artists – many with ties to RISD – are showing work in the RISD Museum’s first regional survey in 20 years. Called Locally Made, the multimedia, multi-gallery extravaganza opens on Thursday, July 18 and runs through November 3.

Paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings and photographs recently acquired by the Museum are being exhibited in the Upper Farago Gallery, while short pieces by eight filmmakers are being shown in continuous loop in the Spalter New Media Gallery. Of the 40 artists exhibiting in this part of the show, 16 are RISD alumni and faculty, including Andrew Moon Bain 98 SC, Jonathan Bonner MFA 73 SC, Ida Schmulowitz 70 PT, Illustration Professor Jean Blackburn 79 PT, Painting Department Head Duane Slick and Sculpture Department Head Dean Snyder, among others.

A central aspect of the show is One Room, an experimental installation in the Lower Farago Gallery that invites artists from a wide variety of disciplines to share their techniques, present performance pieces and lead discussions as part of the almost nonstop programming planned during the four-month run of the show. Among the scores of artists who will share their work and process in One Room are RISD alumni Scot Bailey MFA 12 FD, Morgan Calderini 07 PR, Allison Cole 03 PR, Ruth Dealy MFA 73 PT, Paul Myoda 89 PH and Toots Zynsky 73 GL, among others. A few of the many faculty participating include Dean of Graduate Studies Patricia Phillips, Printmaking Professor Andrew Raftery, Illustration Critic Antoine Revoy 99 FAV and Printmaking Senior Critic Brian Shure.

One Room activities take place in an enclosed structure dubbed School House Long House – a combination of a one-room schoolhouse and a community gathering place favored by some Native American tribes. Jed Hancock-Brainerd, Rebecca Noon and Jeremy Radtke designed the School House Long House structure, which includes tables and benches built (of regionally sourced pine) at nearby arts collective AS220.

Locally Made officially kicks off on July 18 from 5–9 pm with the Museum’s festive (and free!) Design the Night summer block party on Benefit Street. Party-goers will enjoy hands-on art making, demonstrations by local artists and designers, Providence’s ever-popular gourmet food trucks and a performance by local Americana band Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons. “Design the Night celebrates the incredible wealth of artists and designers that make Providence a dynamic city,” says Museum Director John W. Smith.

Dina Deitsch, contemporary art curator at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in nearby Lincoln, MA, served as guest curator for the video selections being screened in the Spalter Gallery. Films by Tony Cokes, Megan and Murray McMillan, J.R. Uretsky, Xander Marro, Magaly Ponce, Ed Osborn and Chris Taylor MFA 02 GL explore materiality through the moving image, “reframing our understanding of the world, one thing, one texture, one experience at a time,” according to the Museum’s press release.

The Museum display itself also showcases the work of local designers. Assistant Professor John Caserta, Professor Lucy Hitchcock, Critic Ben Shaykin and other members of the Design Office, a local collective of independent, interdisciplinary designers, devised and developed a unique, print-on-demand guide to daily programming taking place in One Room.

The impressive celebration of regional talent is inspired by the generous contributions of Museum supporters Joseph A. Chazan and Robert and Judy Mann, who provided acquisition funds for much of the new work on view.