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RISD Grad Show 2022 Opens Its Doors

RISD Grad Show 2022 Opens Its Doors

The sprawling exhibition and companion digital publication feature thesis work by graduate students working across 19 disciplines.

view of crowd at grad show opening

RISD’s graduate class of 2022 celebrates at the first in-person end-of-year exhibition since 2019. In the foreground: A Fleeting Landscape by Industrial Design student Vrinda Mathur MID 22.

With the countdown to Commencement well underway, RISD’s graduate class of 2022 stepped out of their studios to celebrate and share their thesis work at RISD Grad Show 2022, which opened in the Rhode Island Convention Center on Wednesday evening. Although the work by this year’s master’s degree candidates is once again on view digitally at www.risdgrad.show, this is the first time since 2019 that pieces by artists, designers and scholars from all of RISD’s graduate-level departments have been gathered together under one (gigantic) roof.  

a huge selection of clear glass pieces displayed on a blue wall

happy students form a heart with their arms

a visitor photographs a huge abstract painting
The Colors of Stress by Jiemin Park MFA 22 GL; exuberant students on opening night; new work by Tala Worrell MFA 22 PT. 

RISD’s Campus Exhibitions team has transformed the 28,000-sf space into a network of smaller, custom-constructed galleries offering students more than 1,100 linear feet of wall space to display their expansive creations. The work on view offers glimpses of every stage of the thesis process—from sketches and drafts to completed work—and represents years of research, experimentation, critical thinking and production. 

student with flowers poses in front of tropical textile

viewers study a wall of paintings

mesmerizing installation featuring luna moth crysallis
Fisayo Quadri MFA 22 TX poses in front of her Sunday Best (digital print, metallic pigment); visitors admire paintings by Lucas Mockler MFA 22 PT that gently poke fun at American culture; Liminal Beings by Bláithín Haddad MFA 22 PR.

A mesmerizing installation by Bláithín Haddad MFA 22 PR called Liminal Beings (above) uses paper, wire, glass, light, luna moths and audio to draw viewers in. The piece reflects on otherness, nationalism and what it means to be an American.

Colorful glass vessels and table lamps by Tzyy Yi (Amy) Young MFA 22 FD were inspired by the natural world. Moon, for example, reflects on an early morning when the artist spotted “the biggest moon that [she had] ever seen. The experiences our eyes can capture are incomparable to any camera or phone,” Young writes. “I wish there was someone there to witness that moment with me.”

colorful selection of table lamps inspired by the natural world

atmospheric blue installation

glass block with imprint of Colorado tree species
Colorful glass table lamps by Tzyy Yi (Amy) Young MFA 22 FD; I Don't Quite Remember It That Way by Margaret Lindon MFA 22 DM; Old Growth by Mandy Lee MFA 22 GL.

A series of cast glass blocks by Mandy Lee MFA 22 GL (see image, above) contain the imprints of tree species native to north-central Colorado, where the artist was raised. The project acknowledges two of the largest wildfires in the state’s history and “the loss of what was known, what was not, and what can no longer be known: forests, trees and other time-honed flora,” Lee writes. “Recasting is the transmutation—or change from one material to another—which physically embodies a vast slurry of eras, material, histories, places and scales.”

tubular textiles installation lit from within

viewers study three abstract paintings
Shady Grove by Sarah Jane Cribbs MFA 22 DM; three abstract paintings in acrylic and oil by Dylan Riley MFA 22 PT.

From large-scale paintings to atmospheric walk-in installations to free-standing sculptures, glass works, enchanting furniture and lighting designs, textured wall coverings and much, much more, there is something in the ongoing show to capture the imagination of every visitor.

Simone Solondz / photos by Jo Sittenfeld MFA 08 PH

The exhibition will remain on view daily in the Convention Center’s Hall A from 12–5 pm through June 4. Visit www.risdgrad.show to learn more about this year’s graduate class.

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