RISD Students Share Final Projects in Fall 2022 Critiques

Furniture Design students examine a new piece by one of their own

“I’m interested in historic decorative vessels that are functional despite their ornamentation,” says Furniture Design senior Maggie Pei 23 FD as she presents her unique candelabra in the RISD Auditorium. “I used glass pieces from a chandelier but also wanted to add my own organic touches.” The class gathers around it, examining its clean lines, mother-of-pearl inlay and other fine details from every angle. Finally, Professor John Dunnigan MFA 80 ID weighs in, describing Pei’s project as “courageous” and one that “opens a significant door.”

students examine furniture pieces by Sara Hollaway
Above (and top photo): Furniture Design students closely examine final projects by seniors Maggie Pei and Sara Holloway.

It’s a typical scene during crit week at RISD, the manic end-of-semester rush when students, faculty members and guest critics come together in every department to provide constructive criticism on student work. For some, the experience is stressful; for others, exhilarating; and for everyone involved it represents the culmination of months of hard work and stands as a central part of the RISD experience.

Apparel Design sophomore Bryce Satow

students hug during crit
Above: Apparel Design sophomore Bryce Satow models their final look in the Canal Street Studios; below: students supporting one another during critique. 

At the Canal Street Studios, Apparel Design sophomores present garments they’ve created to express elements of their own personalities as part of the department’s Identity/Identities studio. Bryce Satow 25 AP struts down an imaginary runway in a layered, gauzy black kimono before ripping off their sunglasses to reveal another pair of smaller shades underneath. “I’m thinking about memories and how they influence who we are today,” Satow explains. “These pieces show what we feel inside and out.”

“I love how it all came together and then came apart,” says guest critic Ramon Tejada, an assistant professor in Graphic Design. “It brings to mind the work of artist Kerry James Marshall, who also uses multiple blacks.”

Jewelry + Metalsmithing critique in Market House

hands holding a 3D-printed necklace that resembles industrial glass
Jewelry + Metalsmithing faculty members and guest critics consider beautifully crafted pieces by senior Sylva Wang.

Jewelry + Metalsmithing crits are quieter and more contemplative. Senior Sylva Wang 23 JM wonders aloud whether or not her collection of pieces inspired by the safety of one’s domestic space forms a cohesive whole. “It’s wonderful that you’re including personal experience in the work,” says faculty member Seth Papac as he gently handles a 3D-printed necklace that resembles industrial glass. “I don’t think you’re jumping around too much in the work, but instead finding different ways to treat these forms and creating beautifully made pieces.”

3D model by Landscape Architecture grad student

students brave the cold to crit outdoor installation
Above: Landscape Architecture students created detailed 3D models to represent their visions for a renewed West Side of Providence; below: students in a Sculpture studio led by faculty member Daniel Zentmeyer brave the cold to share feedback on an outdoor installation.

Across the Providence River in Landscape Architecture’s new home at 159 Weybosset Street, grad students show intricately detailed 3D models reflecting new possibilities for Providence’s West Side neighborhood. First-year student Jen Ansley MLA 24 envisions community gardens that would provide internship opportunities for local high school students and a five-story multi-use building incorporating new, much-needed housing units.

Printmaking student hangs tapestries for critique

Textiles student Larissa Celi shows a giant snake
Above: graduate Printmaking student Kate Walker shows a cohesive collection; below: Textiles senior Larissa Celi presents an imaginative piece reflecting their background and cultural heritage.

Heading east to the College Building, seniors in the Textiles department are showing experimental work made with synthetic materials and new technologies. Venezuelan student Larissa Celi 23 TX shares a collection of textiles that feature imaginary creatures from their childhood daydreams. “You’ve really brought these images to life,” one critic notes. “It’s wonderful to see this vivid reflection of your heritage and culture.”

Simone Solondz / photos by Jo Sittenfeld MFA 08 PH

December 21, 2022

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