v.1 Info Session this Sunday

v.1 is having its first info session of the year this Sunday. Anyone with something ready to share or just an ambiguous spark of interest is welcome!


Those who can’t make it are welcome to send a pitch (100 words or less) or query anytime and the editors will respond within a week. v.1 invites proposals in any genre, on any topic, and for any platform (poster, web, newspaper ...).

Visit volume-1.org to learn more.

Email: v1@risd.edu.

Last Chance for HIGHLIGHTS

HIGHLIGHTS: The RISD Graduate Thesis Book, an exhibition of 37 theses highlighting exemplary approaches to research, writing, and design, is up for just two more days—through Sunday, October 7, at Sol Koffler Gallery (CIT/169 Weybosset).

Here’s what people have been saying in the visitor book ...

"So strong, so important, so beautifully executed!"
"Makes me excited to tackle my own future thesis."
"Fantastic show! The more undergraduates who see this [too], the better."
"A resource every working artist should have access to." 
"A strong display of the innovative thinking that will change the world."
”♡ Highlights”

We ♡ watching visitors dig in to the books and even do some writing in the space …


Once the show comes down, the thesis books will be back in the Library, and the accompanying Book of Thesis Books will soon be distributed around campus. Here’s an excerpt including the introduction and one thesis from each of the five categories (academic thesis, monograph, project document, mosaic essay, and artist’s book). We’re looking at print-on-demand options, so stay tuned or contact jliese@risd.edu if you’d like a copy.

Grad Thesis Book Workshops

A&L and the Fleet Library welcome grads to our series of Fall workshops—an opportunity to come together across departments to imagine and develop the possibilities for your thesis book.

Workshops are on Thursday nights from 7-9 PM, on the 2nd floor of the Fleet Library (take the elevators to the right of Portfolio cafe), in room 228.

September 27
Process Matters: Angela Lorenz Opens Her Archives

October 25
Artistic Research: Reading the Literature with Ellen Petraits

November 15
Evolving Thesis Language: Anne West Guides Writing Prompts

November 29
Form for Content: Imagining Book Design with Marcus Peabody

See e-mail invitations for details about each workshop.
Open to grads in all programs, thesis year or not.
Come to one or to all.

Please contact Jen Liese (jliese@risd.edu) to RSVP (helpful but not required) or with any questions.

We’re posting here just after our first workshop with artist Angela Lorenz, who shared some of her incredible artist’s books and her extensive process archive … thanks, Angela!


English for Art & Design Workshops and Drop-in Hours

Multilingual learners: advance your English for academic purposes in art and design. Workshop topics include vocabulary development, speaking about your work, and reading and writing assignments.

5-week workshop series:
SUNDAYS 10 am – 12 pm
September 23, 30; Oct. 7, 14, 21

Drop-in for one-to-one or small-group meetings:

Weekly drop-in hours:
WEDNESDAYS 12 - 1 pm

All at A&L (College Building 240), facilitated by A&L's Assistant Director for Multilingual Learning, Maya Krinsky. 

Questions or registration e-mail: multilingual@risd.edu

THAD's Spring Lectures

Theory and History of Art and Design (THAD, formerly known as HAVC) is running two inspired series of lectures this spring. See the schedule here, and don't miss the Art History Research Colloquium keynote, coming up this week.

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Two Summer Opportunities in Art Writing and Publishing

Two summer residency opportunities, both with April 29 application deadlines:

Triple Canopy's Publication Intensive: a two-week series of workshops for writers, editors, designers, and publishers focused on "networked forms of production and circulation," based both in New York and here at the RISD Museum.

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The Islands: a two-part, six-week residency for art writers and artist-writers—including those working in criticism, poetry, and experimental forms—that takes place on remote Fogo Island and urban Toronto Island. 

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As always, A&L's tutors are here to support your application-writing process.


Who are art and design magazines actually for?

Come to this workshop led by Contributors Inc. and let's figure that one out together.

Monday, March 12, 2:00-4:00 pm
Macaulay Room, Fleet Library

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Contributors Inc. (Phoebe Stubbs and Mimi Cabell) is a collective that works with art and culture magazines as material, engaging them as both archives of the art world and sites highlighting shifting commercial and political trends. Contributors Inc. creates interventions, publishing projects, artwork, and workshops exploring the relationship between a publication’s history and its present.

For this workshop, participants will critically engage with several magazines of art and design. Looking at evidence in their pages and on the internet, we will examine content, contributors, structure, and funding and annotate what we find. We will then discuss our findings as a group, including issues raised by the exercise and thoughts on the relevance of such publications to participants’ practices. 

Spring English Language Support

Facilitated by Assistant Director for Multilingual Learning, Maya Krinsky, the following workshops are designed to improve English language skills in our context of art, design, and liberal arts education. Please contact multilingual@risd.edu with questions or to RSVP (appreciated but not required).

Academic Skills Series for Multilingual Learners
Sundays, 10 am–12 pm, Center for Arts & Language (CB 240)
February 18, 25, March 4, 11, 18

Critique Group for Multilingual Learners
Mondays, 6:30–8 pm, Center for Arts & Language (CB 240)
March 5 – May 14

English Language Support Drop-in Hours
Tuesdays, 12–1 pm, Carr House conference room
February 20–May 15
Fridays, 12–1 pm, CIT 102 (Grad Lounge)
February 16 – May 11

Publishing and Practice: A Conversation

Publishing and Practice: A Conversation
Thursday, March 1, 6:30-8:30 PM, Old Library (College Building 521)

 Andre Bradley's  Dark Archives  (interior pages)

Andre Bradley's Dark Archives (interior pages)

Editing journals, essaying on art, design, and events, experimenting with “publishing as artistic practice” … artists and designers are contributing to public discourse like never before. Come hear from three RISD alumni working in and around publishing about their
experiences—and share your own.

6:30-7:30 Presentations and Q&A

Andre Bradley (MFA Photography, 2015)
Philadelphia-based artist and author of Dark Archives,
an “autobiography in fragments” published by Image
Text Ithaca Press

Rachel Ossip (BRDD Comp. Lit./Graphic Design, 2015)
Artist, designer, and writer living in New York; manager,
Paper Monument; production manager, art editor, and contributor to n+1

Phoebe Stubbs (MFA Glass, 2011)
London-based artist and art writer; co-editor of
Pink Jacket; managing editor of the Journal for Artistic
; former editor at Black Dog Publishing

7:30-8:30 Dinner and Conversation

Bring your own publications to share.

***RSVP to jliese@risd.edu by Friday, February 23

Grad Thesis Book Design Workshop

Grad Thesis Book Design Workshop
Sunday, February 18, 3-6 PM, Fleet Library, Macaulay Room

This Sunday, take a break from writing your thesis to plan the book's design.

Marcus Peabody, grad in GD and grad assistant in the Center for Arts & Language, will guide you step by step through the elements of thesis book design, from overall aesthetic to format to grid to typography to image strategies. He will share thesis book samples along the way, lead short exploratory exercises, and point you toward paper, printing, and binding resources.

RSVP appreciated but not required: jliese@risd.edu.

Below: spreads from Jennifer Garza-Cuen (MFA Photography 2011), Wandering in Place


Unbound Is Back!

One of our favorite events is fast approaching: Unbound, RISD's annual art book fair. Mark your calendars for April 7, and if you're interested in exhibiting, jump on it: as of this AM, there are only 10 tables left! Register here.


Spontaneous Statements

Artist statements are so often labored over for weeks, months, years even. Last fall, we noticed a couple of very public examples of what we'd like to call "spontaneous statements." 

Exhibit A: Kara Walker's much noted statement (scroll down in this link) accompanying her fall New York show, which puts off all pretense of describing her work but expresses with the very power of her work the intertwined exhaustion and fury of standing against racism. Maybe she labored over this statement, but it feels like it came out in a single breathless burst.

Exhibit B: Huang Yong Ping's statement in response to the Guggenheim's pulling the live animals in his Theater of the World from the work, leaving just its armature (see here). This one is scribbled on an Air France air sickness bag—it doesn't get much more urgent than that.

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Lately we've seen a few spontaneous statements around A&L, too. Here's one we love by Kathryn LaMontagne (Textiles), below. If you have an artist statement—spontaneous, refined, or anywhere in between—come on in; we'd love to hear about it. 

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Wintersession Workshops: English Language Support

English Language Support Workshops
Facilitated by Maya Krinsky, Assistant Director for Multilingual Learning
(send RSVPs or questions to mkrinsky01@risd.edu)

American Idioms (undergrads)
This workshop focuses on vocabulary and common expressions in American culture and the art/design classroom. Bring specific questions from your experience so far. Mondays, January 8th, January 29th, February 5th; 12:00 – 1:00 PM; Macaulay Room, Fleet Library

Critique Group (grads and undergrads)
This workshop helps prepare for critiques by improving speaking skills. We will look at work and practice making comments and asking questions. Bring a project, piece, or idea that you are working on, or come to respond to others’ work.
Mondays, January 8th, January 29th, February 5th; 6:30 – 8:00 PM; A&L, CB 240

Keywords (grads)
This workshop is for grad students working on artist statements, applications, presentations, studio visits, project titles, or any task where selecting the right keywords affects the understanding of one’s work. We will brainstorm vocabulary words for specific projects and discuss nuances of translation. We will also talk about keywords in each department to expand our accuracy with disciplinary terminology. Wednesdays, January 10th, January 31st; 10:00 – 11:00 AM; CIT Grad Lounge

Co-editing (grads and undergrads)
A collaborative group study session focused on improving accuracy in written English through group editing and discussion of common errors and grammatical structures. Students should bring an in-progress or finished writing project.
Wednesdays, January 10th, January 31st; 12:00 – 1:00 PM; A&L, CB 240

Pronunciation Lab (grads and undergrads)
An intensive practice session focused on American English pronunciation or “accent acquisition.” We’ll work on the sounds, melodies, and intonations common in American English, and you can request help with troublesome words or phrases.
Fridays, January 12th, February 2nd; 3:00 – 4:00 PM; CB 301

Wintersession Workshops: Grad Written Thesis

Thinking Through Thesis: A Series of Workshops for Grads
Sundays, 3:00-6:00 pm, Macaulay Conference Room, Fleet Library

These workshops are designed to break down the written thesis book process into approachable pieces, open up new avenues for expression, and align thesis writing with studio work. The series is also an opportunity to get feedback from a diverse group of peers across departments in a relaxed, open environment.

All graduate students are welcome. The first and last workshops are open. The middle three are a series requiring full attendance; maximum 10 students. Please RSVP to jliese@risd.edu.

January 7—A guided tour of exemplary thesis books, focusing on varieties of content, led by A&L grad assistant Aaron Simmons

January 14—Exercises that oscillate between talking and writing, designed to define core thesis ideas and a relationship with audi- ence, led by A&L faculty mentor Emily Cornell du Houx

January 21—Exercises that map sources, influences, and process, unearthing a structure for the thesis book, led by A&L faculty mentor Emily Cornell du Houx

January 28—Exercises that collect and transform existing writing—notes, poetry, essays, thesis drafts—through revision, led by A&L faculty mentor Emily Cornell du Houx

February 18—A guided tour of exemplary thesis books, focusing on elements of design, plus how-to exercises and printing resources, led by A&L grad assistant Marcus Peabody


Crit and Grammar Workshops for Multilingual Learning

Weekly drop-in workshops for English language support are open to all. You do not need to register and can join in any week. Email with any questions: mkrinsky01@risd.edu.

Crit Group
This workshop is designed to help you improve your speaking skills in critique. We share work, learn new vocabulary and common expressions, practice together, and improve by giving one another feedback. Bring a project, piece, or idea to share, or come to respond to others’ work.

Monday nights 6:30–8:00 pm (Maya Krinsky)
Location: A&L, CB 240
Dates: 9/18–12/4

Grammar Group
This workshop is a facilitated group study session for you to improve your grammar. We focus on useful structures and forms in context, and expand with writing and speaking activities. Each workshop has a grammatical concept as its theme. Additionally, students are encouraged to bring specific questions and topics they would like to address.

Thursday 12:00 pm - 1:10 pm (Maya Krinsky)
Location: CB 301
Dates: 9/21 - 12/7

Stretch Your Pencils: Grad Thesis Writing Workshops

Stretch Your Pencils:
Grad Thesis Writing Workshops

Tuesdays from 7-8:30 pm this Fall, in CIT 304

Facilitated by A&L’s Faculty Grad Mentor, Emily Cornell du Houx

All grads welcome. Come together to examine your work in innovative and invigorating ways, stretching the limits of expressive practice and busting out of common writing ruts. We’ll approach writing as a mutable medium, one that can be built up, torn apart, cobbled together, patch-worked, polished, exploded, and constructed like a work itself.  

The workshops are cumulative, but participants can drop in any week. Taken together, they provide material, methods, and inspiration for assembling the final written thesis and developing a rich language around visual work.

Each workshop revolves around a shared writing activity, for example:

—The List, The Map, and the Storm: create shapes for idea generation
—Go Ghost: take turns ghost-writing a part of someone else’s thesis
—Dictionary (De)construction: build your own word collection
—Mapping Makers: identify your influences
—Zoom In, Zoom Out: explore expansive and contractive research
—Tune In, Tune Up: practice editing as listening

We’ll also experiment with timed writing, writing to music, walking and writing, and writing using different modes and mediums.