We moved my daughter home from RISD in March because of COVID-19. The school kept changing the move out date so it was an abrupt departure that left my daughter and her friends reeling. They had a week to move out, then a week of regularly planned Spring Break, and then distance learning began.
I wanted to record her body of work in just five short months of what she produced while living at school. The freshman at RISD all take the same classes in a foundation year bringing everyone, more or less, to the same skill level across a variety of creative mediums. The exposure is also helpful to give students a chance to explore different areas before they declare their major.
The studio classes are: drawing, design, and spatial dynamics. The students also take literature and an art history class.
In addition, there is a January mini-semester where students focus on one topic, a non-major studio elective. My daughter took Rug Making.
I was amazed to see the sheer volume of pieces that my daughter created. Keep in mind, though, that she was in class 8 hours a day three days a week for her studios. She also had a half-day of lecture classes two days a week. To manage the high volume of homework, she typically would work on assignments for part of Friday night, and all day on Saturday and Sunday. She didn’t get a lot of sleep either.
Still, she loved her first semester on campus. Her dream for college was to make art all day and that is exactly what RISD is like.
First Semester Freshman at RISD
This STEM bridge challenge was one assignment in her spatial dynamics class. She describes it as 3-D art and she learned how to use all the woodworking equipment in the woodshop as a result of this class. Her assignment was to make a bridge that could support this 10 pound brick using only string and 50 bbq skewers. She opted for triangles, the strongest shape. Her design successfully supported the weight!
There were so many pieces that I made two videos of her work. It’s not in any particular order.
My daughter did two sessions of RISD Pre-College in high school. Each session is six weeks. I think it’s a good way for kids to gauge what art school would be like. It’s also helpful in creating a portfolio to apply to art school. Many art colleges have a pre-college program, and those programs are usually shorter than six weeks. Some of her friends at RISD did pre-college programs at different art colleges in order to help them decide where to apply.
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.