Page 1

Rhode Island School of Design’s alumni magazine WINTER 2011

MENU appetizer






+ other food art, RISD-style


Conversations online, incoming, ongoing


Listen to reflections, opinions, what’s on our readers’ minds


Look at edibles/eating, eating out, kitsch(en)ware + groceries





Bread Winner

Food for Thought

As one of the leading pastry chefs in America, Ciril Hitz 91 ID is pushing the boundaries of baking.

Art inspired by edibles can be very satisfying—whether it’s made with food or simply alludes to it.




Six Degrees


updates from clubs, the Alumni Association, Alumni Relations


Crazy About Sweets By translating her love of materials to experimentation in the kitchen, Krystina Castella 89 ID has found a second career creating cookbooks.

Two College Street Maeda’s message, faculty news, a glimpse of studios/student life now


Impact news about scholarships, donors, the RISD Annual Fund


Where We Are class notes and profiles, undergraduate first, graduate second


Where We Were photos/memories from the past


Sketchbook a visual commentary on the world as we know it


CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT IT E v e ryon e loves food, or at l e ast, needs it.

Artistic people seem to have a particularly nuanced relationship with all things culinary. Maybe it’s part of their creative chemistry—a desire to live life to its fullest. Cooking, tasting new flavors, trying exotic cuisines, experimenting with recipes, inventing your own, growing, making, baking—all seem to hold special appeal for artists and designers, and certainly for the alumni highlighted on the following pages. This issue of RISD XYZ has been especially fun to pull together because it focuses on alumni who have a special relationship with food—not just as a source of sustenance or perennial temptation, but as a muse, tease, distraction, inspiration, provocation, occupation. The connections between food and art are obvious. With its flavors, textures, colors and aromas, food is as sensual as art. Both are inextricably entwined with human existence, yet in the animal world, only humans have elevated eating to an art form. With the explosion of food as a pop-cultural phenomenon in America— via the Food Channel, foodie blogs and sites, celebrity chefs, writers like Michael Pollan—the meaning of food in our lives has changed radically in recent years. What I like about looking at the relationship between food and art—especially in a RISD context— is that they’re both so wrapped up in notions of hunger, flavor and taste. RISD artists and designers clearly have enormous creative and intellectual appetites. You’re known for work with a distinctly personal flavor. And almost instinctively you know when something is visually off or aesthetically displeasing or conceptually suspect—when it just doesn’t taste right. Let us know what you think about this issue:

Taste and flavor are clearly based on personal preferences, but they’re also among the variables in life that make it so interesting. Even though the artists and designers mentioned in this issue share the experience of having gone to RISD, they use their own unique ingredients in expressing themselves through food. Each of the alumni we cover in the feature articles— pastry chef Ciril Hitz 91 ID, artist/designer Lauren Garfinkel 91 AP, painter Shawn Kenney 93 IL, sculptor Melissa Armstrong 07 ID and cookbook author Krystina Castella 89 ID —creates with distinctly different flavors. In this issue, we also look at alumni who make and market culinary products, work in the restaurant business or just can’t resist responding to the everyday reality that everyone needs to eat. Of course, the flipside to this—which isn’t addressed in this issue—is that in today’s world, these basic needs still go unmet. There are literally hundreds of millions of people—13.6% of the estimated global population—who never get enough to eat. This is a huge, ongoing humanitarian issue that I hope RISD graduates will help address in the years ahead. For the many Americans struggling with weight issues or eating disorders, food can also be a perpetual source of anxiety. Yet, the relationships most people have with food are a lot like the ones artists have with the creative process—it’s something to love, hate, crave, flee, think about, embrace. It can cause real anguish and suffering, and provide great joy and satisfaction. Ultimately, both food and art are fundamentally and inextricably a part of what it is to be human.

editor’s message by

Liisa Silander

illustration by

Caitlin Keegan 02 IL


Becky Bermont EDITOR

Liisa Silander 401 454 6349 C R E AT I V E D I R E C T I O N

WellNow Design Criswell Lappin MFA 97 GD Nancy Nowacek Dungjai Pungauthaikan MFA 04 GD

01 03

D E S I G N/ P R O D U C T I O N

02 05


Kate Blackwell Kaleb Durocher Elizabeth Eddins 00 GD Sarah Rainwater Karen Vanderbilt MFA 12 GD CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Anna Cousins Susan Curran Francie Latour Paula Martiesian 76 PT Liisa Silander D I R E C T O R O F A LU M N I R E L AT I O N S

Christina Hartley 74 IL PRINTING

Lane Press Burlington, VT printed on 70# Sterling Matte, a recycled stock R I S DX Y Z

Two College Street Providence, Rhode Island 02903-2784 USA




Scott Conary 93 IL is the artist behind our cover, which shows a detail from his painting Wall Chop (see lower right). This winter he has shown selected meat paintings in both Portland, ME and Portland, OR, where he lives and recently started painting again after an especially difficult year. His first child, Jane Elliot Conary, was born in January 2010 with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a rare and dangerous heart defect that has required multiple life-saving surgeries and will require more in the future. Despite the traumatic year and the difficult times ahead, Scott is quick to point out that life is good and he’s producing better work than ever. See page 53 for more on his meat paintings, and go to for more of his work.

Caitlin Keegan 02 IL ( lives and works in Brooklyn with her “intern,” a dachshund named Ollie who only nominally assisted with her illustration of our word-du-jour on the previous spread. Caitlin works as a designer for Sesame Workshop, while doing freelance illustration for a variety of clients. Her biggest project this year is completing a fully illustrated version of Shakespeare’s Love Sonnets, which Chronicle Books plans to publish in spring 2012.



Karen Moss 66 PT (, who contributed our Listen piece (Food Gone Bad) on page 5, first discovered the allure of pop culture imagery in RISD painting classes with the late, great Richard Merkin MFA 63 PT, who taught her to appreciate style, humor and comics. Since then she has exhibited in scores of shows throughout the country, including the current exhibition Karen Moss: What Remains, which continues through March 19 at The Art Institute of Boston.


Karen Vanderbilt MFA 12 GD (


Melissa Meyer 06 IL lives in Providence with her

interned at Metropolis last summer, where she found magazine design to be fun and interesting. As soon as she got back to campus, she asked if she could help out with XYZ and now brings her good eye and easygoing attitude to various departmental spreads (Six Degrees, Two College Street, Impact). Prior to coming to RISD, Karen worked in the design department of Oxford University Press in New York City.

sweet dog-muse Linus, and keeps bowls full of root vegetables in the kitchen. On any given day she can be found eating a taco, drawing comics or out on a neverending quest for the most beautiful rock. You can see some of her recent drawings in Sketchbook (page 64) and find more at and bearhatsketch

Let us know what you think of this issue:

Published three times a year by RISD’s Media group, in conjunction with Alumni Relations. Postmaster: Send address changes to Office of Advancement Services RISD, Two College Street Providence, RI 02903 USA O N T H E C OV E R

Wall Chop (2011, oil on canvas, 22x28")

Online, incoming, ongoing




I wanted to let you know this news after an official announcement, but the process is getting longer so I decided to email you first. There was a RFP for an identity design of the US National Endowment for the Arts a while ago. About 560 design firms in the US applied and finally I (Why Not Smile) got it. Now I have been working with the NEA to develop the final identity and create application designs. Because I am a RISD graduate and taught at RISD in the past, the NEA is planning to have an announcement event at RISD with John Maeda, NEA people and Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

Just got the new XYZ and am so happy to see the style even improved from the last issue. My Dad (Peter Hesse 48 IL) called me up and was just as won over by the new issue. He is also amazed at the diversity we show in all ways. This all dovetailed with my going to and seeing the new group on campus, STEAM, and the recent lecture by the amazing Richard Saul Wurman. Then there was the story on EXPOSÉ, the new studentorganized store downtown, and topping it all off was the link to The All-Nighter—what an amazing e-journal [see also page 40]. This sort of synergy is rare. I am proud to be part of it.

RISD XYZ looks much more like a wealth management plan’s annual report these days. Not sure that’s the best look for a design school’s alumni magazine, but, hey, what do I know?

Nat Hesse 76 SC

Alumni Association President Santa Fe, NM

Bob Aldrich

(sent via email to

PHEW! I told a [phonathon] caller I wasn’t giving to RISD this year because all my donations are going to the environment. But when I got the XYZ alumni magazine I realized that if art dies out earth won’t be worth living on. So [I sent in] my check. Wish it were more! Arlene Wilson 91 TX

Nashville, TN

Hoon Kim MFA 08 GD

Brooklyn, NY

Editor’s note: That announcement took place on Friday, February 10, 2011 when NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman and Senator Whitehouse visited Providence for a roundtable discussion on art and the economy.

from the NEA’s Art Works blog, December 15, 2010

When I make the case for investing in the arts, I use just two words that have three meanings: “Art works.” “Art works” first refers to works of art themselves—the performances, objects and texts that are the creation of artists. “Art works” reminds us of the ways that art works on audiences to change, confront, challenge and inspire us; to allow us to imagine and to aspire to something more. “Art works” is a declaration that with two million full-time artists and 5.7 million arts-related jobs in this country, arts jobs are real jobs that are part of the real economy. Art workers pay taxes, and art contributes to economic growth, neighborhood revitalization and the livability of American towns and cities. Those three elements—the works of art themselves, the ways art works on audiences and art as work—together are the intrinsic value of the arts. Hoon Kim MFA 08 GD, principal designer of Why Not Smile, created this visual representation of the three meanings of “Art Works,” which you can now see throughout Rocco Landesman

NEA Chairman Washington, DC

Follow RISD at and

President Maeda has been hosting a series of conversations on creativity this year—complemented by good food (of course). Find out more at



SELL IT I’d been meaning to write a response to the redesigned magazine a while ago. In short: it’s fantastic. Wellnow [Design] did an amazing job. I could even imagine it being sold on regular magazine racks. Thanks and keep up the great work. Tim Belonax 04 GD

Newhall, CA

TOO much FOR THE USPS? from Facebook / Glass Garage Fine Art Gallery / December 17, 2010

Apparently, the Glass Garage Gallery’s invitations are too steamy for the USPS. The backside of the invitation for our current exhibition The Year of the Chimera 6.2 features the painting Return to Eden: Animal Attraction by Steven Kenny 84 IL (above). It is an image of Adam and Eve returning to Eden, still naked, but this time unashamed and unabashedly making love in Paradise surrounded by all sorts of other animals also mating without shame. We were advised that this was far too explicit an image to travel unsheathed through the USPS. Thus, we were required to censor the image (below). Somehow, being too sexy for the USPS suits us just fine. Facebook / Steven Kenney / December 18, 2010 at 3:15 pm

This isn’t the first time I’ve been censored for depicting our first couple. Years ago I was commissioned by a financial publication to create a depiction of Adam and Eve (with fig leaves firmly in place) being expelled from Eden for a national newspaper insert. However, it was deemed too provocative by some and excluded from those editions of the newspaper circulated in America’s Bible belt. This resulted in 25,000 copies being tossed into the landfill. Now the Post Office refuses to distribute postcard reproductions of my new painting of Eden in all its guilt-free glory as it’s referred to in the Bible. How ironic that such an idyllic, innocent and harmonious image causes such shock and umbrage in the same circles that revere the written Word as sacred and unassailable.

Hi there. Just wanted to say that the newly designed alum magazine is AWESOME. Hyun-Yeul Lee BID 96


WOrds or less

We’ve still got our appetites! Tim Harrington 96 FAV, from Appetites, the first song on Les Savy Fav’s latest album Root for Ruin

Boston, MA

I have this to share—I was included in the first issue of our new XYZ magazine. Fellow alumna Annie Feldmeier Adams MFA 02 PH, who works at Encyclopaedia Britannica, saw my piece and passed it on to her people. I was solicited by Michael Levy, executive editor at Britannica, to share my work on their blog and was pleased to accept. Cheers to the wonderful associations made possible by RISD. Wendy Wahl MAE 85

West Kingston, RI

Thanks for doing great work at XYZ. It’s a GREAT new magazine, and makes me proud to call RISD my creative “home.” Hallie Warshaw 89 GD

San Francisco, CA

REBORN AT RISD Like many others, not a day goes by that I don’t thank the stars in the sky for my wonderful years at RISD. Without a doubt I was reborn the first day I arrived in Providence. Gretchen (Schmauss) Santoro 60 TX

Vancouver, Canada

I love it because it’s only $2.22 for two slices. Robbie Lillquist 13 IL confessing that his top “guilty pleasure” is 7-11 pizza

Oh, believe me. Mine is much worse. Jemima Kirke 08 PT as Charlotte in the film Tiny Furniture, responding to the question, “Do you have the same sense of entitlement as my daughter?”

RISD Pricks fencing club informational meeting from the January campus calendar (positive proof that RISD’s sports team naming tradition lives on!)

On that nerdy note, I’ll see you guys next time! Karen Kavett 11 GD signing off from another design-focused video on her YouTube channel



Keep in touch. Write to us at:

Readers reflect, write, shout, share what’s on their minds.

FOOD GONE BAD W e are livin g in an era of food obs ession.

When I was growing up in the 1950s, there was little awareness or discussion of what we ate. We learned to choose from four basic food groups: meat, carbohydrates, fruits/ vegetables and dairy. And there was Jello with marshmallows for dessert! These days if you’re planning a dinner party you had better interview your guests beforehand as they might be omnivores, locavores, vegetarians, vegan, lactoseintolerant, boycotting high fructose corn syrup or on a salt-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, Slim-Fast or other fad diet. Now it’s all about personal choices and barebones economics—from high-end organic options to massmarketed junk food. In my Coloring Book Hybrids series I have replaced the simple childhood pleasures depicted in the coloring books I had as a child with our current obsessions with media, mall culture and fast food. My recent paintings focus on eating disorders in children ranging from anorexia to obesity. For instance, in No Thanks (above right: acrylic on paper, 40x26 1/4"), I portray a dangerously thin girl offering toxic-looking cupcakes to a creature who is rejecting her offer in favor of a bag of fresh vegetables. Adoration of the Corn (acrylic on paper, 30 x 22") is one of several of the pieces I’ve made in reference to health problems brought on by our seeming addiction to corn syrup in processed foods. In a country where over-consumption and supersizing are the norm, there is an ever-widening gap between rich and poor, especially when it comes to food. The plague of anorexia and bulimia continues among young girls and women from wealthier families who feel pressure from society and the media to be pencil thin. Less advantaged children—who

live in neighborhoods that have notoriously poor access to supermarkets and fresh vegetables—are at a real disadvantage. Their working parents have little time to cook and often buy highly caloric and chemically laden processed foods at convenience stores. This, in turn, leads to poor nutrition, weight gain and chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. These children often pick up snacks from vending machines on the way home from school and are then apt to munch their way to obesity while plopped in front of a TV or computer. Most children today don’t play much outside or participate in organized sports— at least not at the levels that were common in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. I hope that increased media attention will shed new light on these issues and that with Michelle Obama’s campaign to curtail childhood obesity and promote healthy options, we will stop sending mixed messages to children about food. Instead, we need to help everyone growing up in America today to eat healthier, live better and let go of insatiable desires for more of everything.

article + artwork by

Karen Moss 66 PT

“In a country where over-consumption  and super-sizing are the norm, there  is an ever-widening gap between rich and poor, especially when it comes to food.”

To submit your own commentary, email (subject line: listen).



Peter Hewitt


86 ID

TEAS PLEASE In 2003, when he set himself the “modest” goal of “reinventing the entire tea ceremony,” Peter Hewitt 86 ID wasn’t exactly sure how he meant to do that. But by applying a sculptor’s sensibility to retooling the tired teabag, he designed a peaked pyramid in an open-weave fabric that allows the water to flow freely around the teas—like brewing an entire pot of tea in a single cup. His stylish Tea Forté infusers, filled with premium whole-leaf teas and rough-cut herbs, are now found at top retailers, resorts and spas around the world—as well as online, where the Tea Forté website offers all the teas, accessories and information you need to infuse your own life with comfort and flavor.

Designer Goes Nuts It’s the classic story: Indonesian Designer Afflicted with Lupus Finds Hope in… Cashews? Well, maybe it’s not so classic. But for Cyrilla Suwarsa 95 GD, life as a NY designer took an unexpected turn when she was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder and had to return to her family

Cyrilla Suwarsa 95 GD

base in Indonesia. Unable to work

Look, You Can Cook!

full-time, she contributed her design

Look and Cook: A Cookbook for Children has long been a

talents and her love of food to her sister’s

favorite among families who not only like to eat together, but

nascent cashew business. The sisters

get a hoot out of exploring the magic of cooking, too. Author,

chose to buy the nuts directly from

designer and cookbook collector Tina Davis 72 GD turned

Indonesian farmers in order to help local

to some of her favorite vintage recipes and artwork to create

families. They developed delectable

a book meant to capture the fun of cooking. From popcorn

flavorings based on family recipes and

balls to salmon loaf, it’s full of classics easy enough for a

Suwarsa designed appealing packaging

Julia child to make with a bit of adult supervision. Davis also

and collateral. Today she’s back in New

explains rudimentary cooking techniques, various utensils

York, handling marketing, helping to run

and their uses, how to measure ingredients and best of all:

the Nuts+Nuts store in Brooklyn’s Dumbo

why a good little chefette always cleans up afterward.

neighborhood and working to launch a

new outlet this spring at New Amsterdam Market. And the best part of the story: the proceeds from online sales and customer donations go to support lupus research.




Clay Gordon 83 PH Clay Gordon shares his passion for chocolate by bringing together an online community for “chocophiles.” In the mid-’90s, noticing “there was no one talking about chocolate the same way as wine,” he had an “entrepreneurial epiphany”: why not become the world’s best chocolate critic?

Cristina Rodriguez 02 ID Collaborating with a pastry chef, Cristina Rodriguez created a series of lovely abstract drawings for a special edition of the journal Lovely Daze. The bilingual (French/English) dessert recipes incorporate the essence of roses as a primary ingredient, as do Cristina’s delicate illustrations.

Erica Saladino 00 GD

Sweets on Wheels The only thing better than going out for fresh cupcakes is… having them come to you. Erica Saladino 00 GD and Kristin Amico, partners in Sugarush, tapped into a collective craving when they converted a 1950s International Harvester Metro Van into Providence’s only bakery on wheels. The two make their yummy baked goods daily—all-natural cupcakes, cookies, whoopie pies and other treats, including vegan and gluten-free varieties—and bring their coveted sugar rush to hot spots around town, updating followers on their daily route via Twitter and Facebook. With snow piled high in LaProv this winter, they’ve been focusing on special orders and baking for the Cable Car and risd|works. But they promise the truck will be making rounds again by the end of March. Sweet!

Culinary Chemistry For Peter Morse 87 SC, the leap from making 3D art and design to marketing salt to people who love to cook wasn’t quite as big as it sounds. After all, the chairs, tables and accessories in his Ferrous Non Ferrous line are made of aluminum, steel and other earthy Mor-Sels finishing salt. It also doesn’t hurt

Peter Morse

that Morse just happens to be as creative

87 SC

materials—almost as elemental as his

in the kitchen as in the studio. Starting

Tina Davis 72 GD

with mineral-rich grey sea salt from Guérande, France, he adds locally grown herbs and lemon zest for an exquisite culinary accent. Find Mor-Sels in east coast Whole Foods stores or online—and watch for more of Morse’s clever culinary chemistry due out soon.

Gregory Poulin 99 IL Painter Gregory Poulin doesn’t exclusively focus on creating food-inspired compositions, but when he does, the results are tasty. To sample some of the visual treats the New Hampshire-based artist has exhibited in shows like Plain, Powdered and Sugared, click on ARCHIVE on his site.

Victo Ngai 10 IL Though Victo Ngai’s Noodle Fantasy and Dim-Sum t-shirts only exist as conceptual art, the New York-based illustrator is clearly talented at capturing the culturally quirky flavors that have infused her consciousness since growing up in Hong Kong. Can we convince her to actually produce these?



Eating Out

LIKKLE PRICE, FOOD NICE! Read the Facebook banter on Island Grill, a restaurant chain in Jamaica and Barbados, and you can practically hear people salivating: “Everyday I wish for Island Grill,” “Yummy in ma tummy!” “When are you coming to Toronto? Miami? New York? London? Here?” Michael Lyn 89 ID, director of marketing for the family business, shoots the “food porn” photos that keep their fans hungry for more; as director of strategy and development, Denise (Dubuque) Lyn 89 IL keeps the 18 restaurants and 480 employees focused on providing quick but mouth-wateringly authentic Jamaican food. Sound like a big departure from RISD? Not really, says Denise. Keeping a big family business humming in a developing country “truly requires all the critical thinking and problem-solving skills RISD gave us.” She found her passion for food during her EHP year in Rome, and now “Mike and I feel that food is one of life’s greatest pleasures.”

Jeffrey Beers BArch 79

How to Make It Better As an illustrator who’s particularly strong with line art, Joe McKendry 94 IL does a lot of editorial work focused on food—adding lovely little spot illustrations to recipes in Runner’s World, depicting varieties of poofy poultry from the barnyard in Portland Spaces and creating captivating how-to drawings for Esquire and Men’s Journal (as in: how to mix a Stinger, how to shuck an oyster, how to eat a lobster roll, how to enjoy a glass of port). Last fall he collaborated with two

Alluring Ambiance

Cornell researchers to present their ideas about how to counter childhood obesity

Sure, fresh charcuterie and farmstead cheeses selected

out precisely how cafeterias can be intelligently reconfigured to “nudge students

by redesigning school cafeterias. McKendry created a clear illustration to map

by Todd English would taste good anywhere—but such

toward making better choices on their own.” His clickable Lunch Line Redesign

delicacies are sure to taste that much better in a sumptu-

illustration ran on the op-ed/op-chart page of The New York Times’ interactive

ously appointed interior designed by Jeffrey Beers BArch 79.

edition and helped make a strong case for designing smarter lunchrooms.

Known for crafting exotic environments for restaurants,

bars and hotels from London to Tokyo to Dubai, the celebrated hospitality designer recently created an inviting array of market and dining areas for the newly opened Plaza Food Hall by Todd English at the Plaza Hotel in NYC. such as Fuse in Nashville and Tabú in Las Vegas—recently

Joe McKendry

chosen by Club World for Best Interior Design and Best

94 IL

Beers’ interior genius is also evident at sultry nightspots

Lounge awards, respectively.

Olga Bravo MFA 88 CR Since Olga Bravo moved her seasonal bakery in Little Compton, RI to a year-round operation in Providence, Olga’s Cup + Saucer has become a Rhode Island staple. The appealing little café serves delicious food and artisan breads in a totally comfortable atmosphere. Bravissimo!



Fred Lynch 86 IL Illustration Professor Fred Lynch loves coffee—and the diner-style cups it came in before the Starbucksification of the universe. Interested in making the ordinary extraordinary, he paints the most captivating coffee cups this side of Jupiter. Click on artist and paintings for a true treat.

Michael Lyn 89 ID

Denise (Dubuque) Lyn 89 IL

Positively Palatable Just a couple of decades ago, “eating habits were very different,” notes Bruce Tillinghast 68 GD, chef and owner of the recently expanded Providence restaurant New Rivers. “People couldn’t deal with the fact that they could come in and get something off the same menu that was Asian and also Italian.” Multiculturalism hadn’t made it to menus yet, but Bruce and his late wife Pat knew they were on to something good when they opened their doors in 1990. The couple approached the dining experience from a uniquely artistic perspective: “I tend to treat tastes the same way I treat color,” Tillinghast says. “It’s easy for me to put colors together mentally, and it was an easy transition to flavor.” Twenty years later, New Rivers is still one of the few Providence restaurants that’s fully booked on weeknights. Chalk it up to the chef’s artistic instincts—and his

Sara Jenkins

sense of humor? “It’s a terrible pun,” Tillinghast admits, but the shift from RISD to restaurants was “just a change of palettes.”

87 PH

Perfecting the Pig Porchetta, the restaurant Sara Jenkins 87 PH and her cousin opened in the East Village in 2008, quickly earned a loyal following for its succulent, savory pork sandwiches. The recipe comes from central Italy, where Jenkins grew up eating porchetta as a treat at markets and street fairs. Her hunch that New Yorkers would take to it, too, was right on. Now she has opened a second restaurant nearby called Porsena— an eatery that puts pasta dishes at center stage. Food lovers who can’t make it to Manhattan might want to try some of the recipes Jenkins posts via her regular online contributions to The Atlantic, where she also shares the ups and downs of running a restaurant. Among them: “you spend all day solving problems”—a lot like in RISD studios.

William Hall 70 IL Last fall Illustration faculty member Bill Hall created the commemorative menu for a dinner honoring President Obama in Providence. The menu featured illustrations of a Rhode Island Red (chicken) embellished with shellfish and a striped bass—iconic foods representative of the Ocean State.

Bruce Tillinghast 68 GD

Adrianna Bamber 01 IL From pierogies playing tennis to holubtsi holding hands, the food characters Adrianna Bamber draws for her greeting cards are so silly they’re worth sharing beyond the Slavically inclined. Check out the Ukrainian Food Variety Pack, which includes a happy little borscht + spoon pair.



Kitch(en)ware + Groceries Jason Amendolara


94 IL

Jason Amendolara 94 IL takes it as a compliment when people call his work immature. As the creator of silly ceramic face plates that invite kids and kidults to do a lot more with their peas, potatoes and gravy than eat them, what else would he expect? His Food Face and Ms. Food Face tableware for Fred & Friends features charismatic characters that just beg to be personalized by people playing around with their food. Amendolara has nailed the culinary kitsch niche with other refreshing designs for Fred, including wooden spoons that double as drumsticks, a message-in-a-bottle stopper with the plea “Send wine!” and shot glasses labeled DRINK that turn into DRUNK when they—or you—are.

Luxe Libations The person who has everything doesn’t have these—but would he or she want them? That’s the very question Louie Rigano 10 ID—a Fulbright

Louie Rigano 10 ID

fellow who’s exploring Wabi Sabi design in Japan this year—had in mind when he dreamed up his Leather Martini Glasses. Reflecting on the long history of animal-skin vessels, Rigano notes that leather has since gained such status as a luxury material that it’s now used indiscriminately and sometimes inappropriately. Martini glasses themselves symbolize leisure and opulence, but “would a functional leather martini glass be as desirable as a fine leather jacket?” To find out, he made some, sealed them with beeswax and planted a single crystal in the void of the hollow stem. Though his limited run of leather glasses was a conceptual exercise, there’s at least “a theoretical potential for mass production,” he hints.

Sascha Kaposi 97 ID The Boston Globe calls Sascha Kaposi’s silicone suction lid a brilliant “green alternative to plastic wrap.” Designed to create an instant airtight seal, it fits on a variety of kitchen containers and is just one of many items he has dreamed up as product design manager at Progressive International.



Sarah Kern 10 IL Working with Women Ending Hunger, Sarah Kern recently designed a colorful reusable shopping bag that is now being sold and used at grocery stores throughout Rhode Island. All proceeds help to support the state’s Community Food Bank.

Inspiration Bears Fruit Talk about looking good enough to eat. Several years ago Deborah Tuch 96 JM was ready to take a break from making fine jewelry in her San Francisco studio. So she concocted a mixture of glitter resin, spread it on dried lime slices

Deborah Tuch

and—voilà! Glitterlimes took root. To her surprise, her fruity

96 JM

little concoctions were an instant hit and before long her “experiment” was paying the rent. Tuch has since added persimmon, lotus, kiwi and a dozen other varieties to the fruit line—and branched out into candy. It’s all part of her quest to “bring glitter to the masses.”

Deserted Shoppers Providence may not look like a desert, but according to Lindsay Kinkade MFA 10 GD, Erika Tarte MFA 11 GD and Beth Weaver MFA 12 GD, research shows that the city fits Michelle Obama’s definition of a “food desert”: more than 30,000 households have no ready access to healthy food. The recent grads hope to address this problem via the Grocery Loop, a bus service they’ve proposed to deliver people to and from a variety of grocery stores using low-emission hybrid buses. A RISD Graduate Studies Grant helped get the project off the ground and last fall it got a boost from winning the Better World Challenge at RISD’s 2010 Better World by Design conference.

Brendan Ravenhill MID 09

Lindsay Kinkade MFA 10 GD

Beauty Removes Top

Erika Tarte

No frou-frou materials, garish logos or gimmicks here:


Brendan Ravenhill MID 09 has created a bottle opener that

Beth Weaver

is as brilliant as it is pared-down. With an inlaid magnet to capture the bottle cap and another to attach it to the fridge,


this natural beauty relies on a bent nail to do the top-popping. Available in dark walnut or light beech, it’s a must-have in every kitchen.

Audrey Barnes MID 12 Aimed at second graders, the Lil Rhody Native program makes use of a Farm-to-School Kit designed by Audrey Barnes. A new kit is distributed to students each season and includes a selection of local produce, recipes for cooking it and a poster with fun and relevant information.

Sean O’Hara 96 ID As if eating salad weren’t enticing enough, Seah O’Hara makes it as aesthetically pleasing as it is delicious with his Yaro Salad Bowls for Nambé. He turns his bowls to accentuate the grain of acacia wood, a dense, durable hardwood that doesn’t absorb stains or odors, and can be hand-washed.



“I don’t think  I realized how therapeutic  it would be.” Lauren Garfinkle 91 AP

“Immediately I’m like, ‘I don’t do that.’ The only competition I ever got involved with was playing soccer...” Ciril Hitz 91 ID



“I’ve got a stack of cookbooks on my nightstand that  I read like novels.” Shawn Kenney 93 IL

“Even though I’m  working with an edible  material, my studio ends up resembling a mad scientist’s lab.” Melissa Armstrong 07 ID

“I’ve become so sensitive to ingredients that when  I write a recipe I can taste it.” Krystina Castella 89 ID






Ciril Hitz BFA 91


WINNER At RISD Ciril Hitz didn’t exactly consider dough an artistic medium. Now, as one of the top pastry chefs in America, he’s pushing the boundaries of baking. by Francie Latour

Is it possible to accidentally stumble into becoming one of the world’s leading culinary artists? To hear Ciril Hitz tell it, you could almost believe it is. Those who know him call Hitz a visionary, an artist who has transformed the world of decorative baking. Both at Johnson & Wales University, where he chairs the International Baking and Pastry Institute, and in the baking world, where he makes prize-winning bread sculptures in the heat of timed competition, he’s known as a born innovator and master of a radical aesthetic in baking that shocked old-world artisans: Think French Impressionists rocking the salons of neoClassical Paris, only with bread instead of brushstrokes. His technique has spawned legions of followers. (In the bread arts world, it’s not uncommon for judges to see a sculpture by an unknown baker and say, somewhat dismissively, “Oh, just another Hitz.”) His tenure at Johnson & Wales has ushered in a new generation of bakers whose rigorous training rivals European standards. His brand, Breadhitz, encompasses DVDs, books, YouTube videos and appearances all over foodie TV. And in January, the towering 18-foot-tall bread sculpture he erected last year at Johnson & Wales was officially entered as a Guinness World Record for tallest bread structure. The feat, a 48-hour baking marathon involving students and faculty, was documented in the TLC network program Extreme Food Sculptors. “The way Ciril approaches the bread arts, it’s fun, it’s wacky, it’s in your face. But really what it’s about is quality in every arena,” says Abe Faber, vice president of the Bread Bakers



“I have no idea how this happened.”  Ciril Hitz BFA 91 ID

Guild of America and owner of Clear Flour Bakery in Brookline, MA. “When you see one of his dragonflies that looks like it’s moving and pulsating with this delicacy of form, it’s something you could appreciate just as much as if it were made out of bronze or clay. He’s one of these big-deal Renaissance men.” That’s not exactly the story Hitz tells. His story starts with a violin he built in high school, hoping it would make up for his lackluster grades and get him into RISD. It goes on to include his Industrial Design degree project, when he made ceramic dinnerware and then realized that his platters looked like empty canvases—then, improbably, came three years at a trade school in Switzerland, his homeland, making chocolates and truffles in a classroom full of 14-year-old apprentices. To escape, Hitz fled to France to sneak in a class or two baking bread. Fast-forward a few years to his first faculty position in the baking and pastry program at Johnson & Wales, in 1997. There, Hitz began taking part in culinary competitions. “We had this food show we would do every fall down in New York. You had to have a sugar piece, a wedding cake, all these different platters. And you also needed decorative bread,” he says. “I opened my big mouth and said, ‘Well, I’ve taken this class in decorative bread back in Switzerland. If you want to, I can take on that part of it.’” That was in 2000. Hitz downplays his role, but when Johnson & Wales won that show, a colleague urged him to try out for a spot as the artistic designer on the Bread Bakers Guild of America team. The winner would go on to compete in the World Cup of baking, held every three years in France.




Ciril Hitz BFA 91

Hitz reluctantly entered his first bread baking competition in 2000 and won. Before long he had landed a spot on the US bread baking team at the the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie, the World Cup of baking.

“Immediately I’m like, ‘I don’t do that,’” Hitz says. “The only competition I ever got involved with was playing soccer back when I was a kid.” A short time later, Hitz got a call from the Bread Bakers Guild, saying he had made the initial cut—after his colleague submitted an application in his name, without telling him. He got through every round, right down to the finals, vying for the decorative baking slot on the American team. “I have no idea how this happened,” he says, using a phrase he returns to more than once in explaining the trajectory of his life. “But I went to this competition, and I won.” What happened, colleagues say, is that Hitz began showing professional bakers with no art training things they had never seen come out of an oven. And he seemed to do it effortlessly. In 2002 his creations for the US team—part sculpture, part tapestry and 100 percent dough—helped the team win second place at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie, edged out only by Japan and beating all the European masters at their own game. Despite all this, Hitz considered himself a novice. In some ways still sees himself as somewhat of an outsider, noting that “my training was not in baking bread.” It was in design, ceramics and pastries, and in Europe, the bread and pastry professions are kept fairly separate, Hitz explains. “When I was running away from trade school in Switzerland, I did

spend some time with bread bakers to learn the craft, but I never really understood what was going on. So I’m not a baker, and now there I was on the baking team. I was definitely the odd man out.” MAKING MAGIC WITH DEAD DOUGH

This much Hitz will admit to: In the intensive, months-long training that propelled him to the US team and the baking world’s premier international stage, he found the outlet for his three-dimensional design mind that he had been searching for since leaving RISD. With dead dough—the soft, yeast-free material used by decorative bakers—he had a structurally sound medium with the integrity of clay. And like the ceramic dinnerware from his RISD days, the dough seemed to cry out for something more—for something like color. “During that time, I created this language or art medium, if you will,” says Hitz. “I started to develop formulations where I took natural ingredients—spices, infused syrups and things like that—and created a color palette that had not been seen before. As I started to blend them, I could evoke new colors. And as I developed this marbling technique, it became even more exciting.” The trial-and-error phase was considerable: The only way to find out how baking time, temperature and proportions would affect the color process and intensity was to bake a piece

“During this time, I created this language or art medium.... And  as I developed [it], it became even  more exciting.”

As he started sculpting with decorative bread dough, Hitz realized that the missing ingredient was color. So he began to experiment with adding natural colorants—beet powder for purple, turmeric for yellow, chili powder for red— in order to create a vibrant color palette that had never been used before.






Ciril Hitz BFA 91

Left: Last year Hitz masterminded the construction of an elaborate, 18-foottall decorative bread sculpture made during a 48-hour building marathon. The TLC network broadcast the feat on its program Extreme Food Sculptors and this year Guinness confirmed that the piece set a record for the tallest bread sculpture in the world.

“W hat I saw in Ciril was somebody who might have landed from Mars and decided to make his idea of a bread sculpture.  He had no preconceived notions. He wasn’t bound by any old-school ideas.” Mitch Stamm

completely every single time. After early attempts failed, he had to abandon infused syrups for powders. But eventually, Hitz’s experimentation with color—beet powder for purple, turmeric for yellow, spinach powder for green, chili powder for red, dark cocoa for black—brought his artistic journey almost completely full-circle. At RISD “there were some instructors that really worked with the absence of color,” Hitz says. ”You had to create with a purely monochromatic palette. The form had to stand by itself, and that was a very important exercise. But as an artist, that becomes limiting. Your palette and your style tend to evolve, and your technique could potentially change. That’s sort of what was happening to me.” Hitz’s debut at the Coupe du Monde was chronicled in the documentary The Best Bread in the World. One night in 2003, Mitch Stamm, now a colleague of Hitz in the baking program at Johnson & Wales, sat down to watch the show on the Food Network. At the time, he was working as an executive pastry chef at a ski resort in Sun Valley, ID. Stamm says he watched as Hitz, whom he hadn’t yet met and had never heard of, sculpted an abstract Navajo blanket, New York’s iconic Unisphere and a rippling American flag, all from dead dough. He was slackjawed. “What I saw in Ciril was somebody who might have landed from Mars and decided to make his idea of a bread sculpture.

He had no preconceived notions. He wasn’t bound by any old-school ideas,” says Stamm, who had witnessed the Coupe du Monde in person several times. “A lot of times in these competitions, you would see bread sculptures that were dioramas—like Swiss people skiing down a hill, or when a child draws a little scene—[but never anything] like symbolism or abstraction.” With Hitz’s work, there was a beautiful use of color and line, Stamm says, but also structural risk. “You would see pieces leaning where there was not a lot of stabilization,” he says, “and you couldn’t really see how it was put together.” The day after the show aired, Stamm’s phone rang. It was Hitz. “It was like Babe Ruth calling me or something,” says Stamm. “He informed me that Johnson & Wales was looking for a new bread instructor and that my name had come up. At this point, I was in my mid-50s... I’d been doing this for a while, and here’s this kid—a sculptor, a tireless mentor, a master at his craft—and he’s just blowing it out. He’s got hand skills I’ve only seen on very few people.” Hand skills, but also people skills: “He says things that make people laugh,” Stamm says—“things that I would probably get hit for.” CULTURE CLASH

People skills are something Hitz has definitely needed. In 2002 the competitive baking world wasn’t entirely ready for



“When I started this Breadhitz concept,  I had no clue what  I was doing.” color. The culture clash he experienced years earlier, when he did his pastry apprenticeship in Switzerland, pointed to what was to come. “There’s something to be said for learning something the traditional way, and doing it over and over and over again because that’s how your teacher did it and how his father did it and his father did it before that,” says Kylee Hunnibell Hitz 91 ID, Ciril’s wife and the other half of Breadhitz, who traveled to Switzerland with him. “But doing the apprenticeship was a big challenge, especially coming from a place like RISD, where you’re constantly encouraged to push the boundaries of what you know. In a Swiss pastry school, if you don’t fit inside their box, they don’t know what to do with you. And they had no idea what to do with Ciril.” In 2002, as her husband’s experimentation with color elevated him to the US team, it became clear he would have to rein in those creative impulses in order to have a chance at winning. “It seemed almost comical at the time—no color? What? That was so strange to us as creative people,” says Kylee. “But in these very traditional environments, it’s their competition, it’s their country. They set the rules.” Balancing old-guard dictates with his innovative drive, Hitz managed to color within the lines, using mostly muted earth tones. “I understand it, and I don’t hold it against [the Guild] at all,” he says. “But it was very frustrating. It was like discovering a new language and becoming fluent in it, but then not being able to use it to express yourself.” If the competition felt stifling, it also opened doors to new opportunities for Hitz to, as he puts it, “go nuts” afterwards. That meant an explosion of color, but also sculptures that were larger and more ambitious in scale. With his once-muted colors now fully expressed, his unique skills as a sculptor really soared. In 2004 he swept all three individual bread awards at the National Bread and Pastry Championship in Atlantic City, NJ. Two years later, he served as the competition’s head judge. In 2007 and 2008, Pastry Art and Design magazine named him one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America. Corporate clients came calling with commissions for bread sculptures at building-naming ceremonies and other events. So did NBC’s Today show. Not surprisingly, a long line of students—from the US and abroad—also formed, all with requests to take classes and learn some of Hitz’s techniques. But for the most part, these weren’t college-age students looking for a four-year culinary degree. They were baking professionals and enthusiasts seeking tutorials and tricks of the trade in a user-friendly form. Enter Breadhitz, launched with a four-part and then an eight-part DVD series, Bread Art and Better Bread. It was the start of a web-based educational business that has branched out into books and television, fueled by Hitz’s continued visibility in competitive shows and seminars around the country.




Ciril Hitz BFA 91

Based on requests from amateurs and professionals alike, Hitz developed a fourpart DVD series called Bread Art, followed by an eight-part series called Better Bread. He has also published two books to share his knowledge and techniques for baking perfect artisan breads.

But if there’s a grand design behind this emerging bread arts empire, Kylee isn’t quite sure what it is. “Let’s just say we have yet to have our official corporate retreat where we get together and do a five-year plan,” she says. Hitz is even more blunt. “When I started this Breadhitz concept, I had no clue what I was doing,” he says. “A lot of times, an opportunity just presents itself, like when we were approached by a publishing company asking if I would be interested in doing a book. And I’ll say, ‘Yea, sure. Let’s do it!’ And then Kylee’s the one who has to bring me down to earth and say, ‘What the hell were you thinking?’” Right now, Breadhitz is certainly thinking global, while also thinking intensely local. In fact, according to Hitz, the only plan he ever really had as a baker is one he’s failed to realize: owning his own pastry shop. Then again, if you were a Renaissance-man-cum-breadsculptor, you might not need to go through the hassle of leasing commercial space for your baked goods. You could, as Hitz did last year, retrofit the shed outside your house with a woodfired oven and turn it into a baking studio. And just to get back to real fundamentals, you could put up a sign in Rehoboth, MA, the town where you live, and have a bake sale: sourdough, French, focaccia, whole wheat, fruit cake and “the instant heart attack,” as Hitz likes to call it: cinnamon buns. “We decided on a Thursday that we were going to do this. We didn’t really advertise. We didn’t tell anyone about it. And we

just baked bread—about 100 loaves,” says Hitz. “We dropped a share off at the local CSA [Community Supported Agriculture farm] and just prayed to God that someone would come by and buy the bread. We sold out in 45 minutes.” The following week, Hitz tried it again, this time doubling the amount of bread. It all went in less than an hour, with some customers coming from as far as 45 minutes away and others knocking on their door days after the signs had come down. By week three, when Hitz quadrupled the amount of bread and still sold out in less than 90 minutes, he had stumbled onto his next idea. “At that point I’m thinking: This is just madness. This shed doesn’t even have running water,” says Hitz. “So we brought a construction crew in here and we designed the space as a real production facility. My ultimate goal now is to teach boutiquestyle baking classes out here in the summer. Private parties, team-building, whatever you want to do. And have it all at our house.” A few days after he lays out his latest vision, Kylee cautions that the Breadhitz bread shed is a grand plan still in need of some actual planning. “It’s a work in progress,” she says in a phone call from her home. She talks about starting small and doing some basic bread baking, when a voice cuts in in the background. “That was Ciril,” she says. “He told me, ‘Nothing is basic.’ “He’s just joking. I think.”

Hitz and his wife Kylee Hunnibell Hitz 91 ID plan to sell fresh baked breads and pastries from the bread shed they built at their home in Rehoboth, MA and then see where that takes them. Maybe workshops, retreats, bread-baking parties? “It’s a work in progress,” Kylee says.



As the works on the following pages indicate, art inspired by food can be very satisfying.

by Liisa Silander




Lauren Garfinkel BFA 91

Political Pablum As Garfinkel developed each dish— Lauren Garfinkel has been using Potatoes Abu Ghraib (mashed potatoes, food as a medium since 1998, but bread crumbs, nutmeg, mild & sharp even before then she found inspiration cheddar cheese, scallion, black & white in unlikely places. At RISD she designed pepper), Wire Tapioca (tapioca, white & a senior coat collection inspired by milk chocolate, red & blue sugar) and ham hocks and sketched garments that several more—she couldn’t stop thinking “looked like roast chicken, with tendons about the impact of the political as laces.” messages we’re all fed and the irony Garfinkel now runs a vintage clothing and textiles studio in Brooklyn, but looks of the expression “you are what you eat.” As she took the time “to research each to “cooking for catharsis.” And she has person and event—seriously and with discovered that making art with food is due respect”—she worked to incorporate a strangely satisfying means of digesting the politics of the day. The initial inspira- “ingredients and techniques that illustrate what I believe to be the essence tion for her Feast for Bush series started of each subject.” The exercise proved with the Katrina disaster in 2005, the to be “a sobering experience,” she says, day she heard President George W. Bush adding, “I don’t think I realized how applaud FEMA Director Michael Brown therapeutic it would be. It was a relief to by saying, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck channel some of the deep disillusionof a job!” That comment eventually led ment I felt.” to her Heck of a Job Brownie (below), Feast for Bush didn’t surface until in which a flood victim sculpted in dark 2009, but since then the series has been chocolate takes refuge from a mass of featured on,, chocolate syrup by huddling on the roof the Washington Post Express and by of a house made from walnut brownies. Agence France Presse. “To have a project that means so much to me be so well received was kind of incredible,” Garfinkel says. “When it appeared in the Post I hoped that maybe a few of the people I had researched took a look.” Next up in her ongoing fascination with food and politics: she has a new site in the works called Edible Government.

Garfinkel channeled her frustration with the Bush administration into pieces like these: Baba Rumsfeld (a combination of baba au rhum cake, pears, plums and pistachios), Dick Cheney Birdshot Salad (made with a cornucopia of fresh ingredients) and Heck of a Job Brownie (brownies and chocolate syrup).



Painting for Food Shawn Kenney began making food paintings about five years ago—as part of a self-imposed “artistic boot camp” to get in shape after being away from the easel for too long. He painted one small study a day, using a makeshift shadow box and the classical “sight-size” method. Yet, his goal was anything but traditional. “I wanted these paintings to be fresh, informal, off-kilter, lit-bythe-fridge-at-night,” he says. “They’re rustic Italian in both sensibility and execution.” In terms of the subject matter, “food was an easy choice” for Kenney since it has always been something he knows and loves. “My wife and I take great pleasure in cooking and planning trips based on culinary adventures. And I’ve got a stack of cookbooks on my nightstand that I read like novels.” Once his inventory of appealing little food studies grew, restaurateurs, café owners, grocers, wineries, friends and collectors began to snap them up— initially online and now through galleries in New England and California. Before long he had figured out a way to combine his lifelong commitment to good causes with a passion for painting the items people have in their refrigera-

People seem to like the flavor of Kenney’s paintings and often commission him to paint their favorite foods. Shown here: Lobster (2010, acrylic on panel, 8x10") and Midnite Fluff (2010, acrylic on panel, 6x6").




Shawn Kenney BFA 93

tors and cupboards. Through a project he calls Will Paint for Food, he has been donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of his paintings to food banks and other hunger-relief organizations, including the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, Women Against Hunger, Share Our Strength/Operation Frontline and Heifer International. “It’s a natural fit for me and a way to give back,” he explains. “We price the food paintings lower to make them more accessible to buyers and to help the project. Ultimately, we’d like to grow it to the point that others could adopt it as a model and contribute to their own local organizations and pantries.” As for his ongoing fascination with food—whether through cooking, reading or sampling local favorites wherever he goes—Kenney says that all of his work is “unabashedly comfort-driven.” He recognizes that his food paintings are technically still lifes, yet in his mind that makes them “feel far more intellectual”— and far less visceral and emotional—than his relationship with the subject matter itself. “It’s really about connecting, shared memories, celebrating the table,” he says. “It’s about the joy of experiencing those simple pleasures with others.”

Since he began painting foodstuffs, Kenney has covered the gamut, from sweet to savory, animal to vegetable, edible to drinkable. Blueberries (2007, acrylic on panel, 8x8") is among his many seasonally fresh paintings.






Melissa Armstrong BFA 07

Seduced by Sugar

“I got my degree in ID and have always been really interested in the intersection of art and science,” she explains. “I now recognize that they have much more in common than I ever thought.” Through her studio “lab” experiments, she began researching how super-saturated sugar solution can grow on hand-knit lace, transforming it from a soft, malleable material “into literal rocks and crystals through a very simple scientific process.” She found the results to be both “beautiful and baffling,” especially as the sexual overtones crystallized in pieces like dura mater, a scanty, full-scale “suit of armor” that represents her first large-scale piece of rock candy art. “I love that these feminine knit pieces” become “infused with entirely new associations of the edible, the sweet and seductive, the feminine and the inaccessible,” Armstrong says. Thanks to an NEA grant, she’s continuing her research into rock candy art this spring during a residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

photos by Warren Buckles

By growing sugar crystals on lace, Armstrong has found an exciting new medium for expression. In late 2010, she completed her first full-scale piece, called dura mater—a super sweet “suit of armor” for a 5'8" female. A detail from Telano (2010, handknit cotton, nuts, skewer, food coloring, sugar, 12x36x4") is shown above right.

Melissa Armstrong is the first to admit that candy isn’t the easiest material in the world for making art—especially when it involves actually growing the crystalline sugar most of us know as rock candy. “Even though I’m working with an edible material, my studio ends up resembling a mad scientist’s lab with pots of boiling sugar and aquariums full of crystal-growing sugar solution,” she says. Armstrong initially began experimenting with candy during a 2009 residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. “All of my previous work had dealt with permanence and impermanence, and would degrade or fall apart in various ways,” she says. “So when I went to Vermont and wanted to play with something totally new, I chose candy—initially hard candy— because I knew it would melt, dissolve and be edible, allowing room for all types of degradation and interpretation.” Beyond its transient qualities, candy appeals to Armstrong because “there is an innate playfulness and innocence in the material” that creates a tension between the sugary substance itself and its application. But as she began making candy art, she quickly realized that the idea of actually growing sugar crystals presented even more intriguing creative potential.



By translating her love of materials to experimentation in the kitchen, Krystina Castella has found a second career creating cookbooks.

by Liisa Silander




At RISD they used to call her “the materials girl.” It was the ’80s, Madonna was hot and though Krystina Castella admits that she couldn’t draw as well as everyone else in her class, she could make just about anything—out of anything. “When I wasn’t in class I would be out collecting all types of materials—fabrics, plastics, metal scraps,” she says. “I had boxes and boxes of materials in my RISD studio and my apartment, so when we got an assignment I would just go through my boxes and start building and making.” Two decades later Castella still takes a materials approach to design, but now she’s doing most of her making in the kitchen, where she specializes in sweets. She has traded her boxes of widgets and plastics and whatnots for bins brimming with white, wheat, corn, yucca, potato and rice flours; white, rock, light and dark brown sugars, along with turbinado, honey and agave; plus mix-ins and decorating ingredients. After selling her product design business a decade ago, Castella began teaching full-time at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA and figured that she would eventually start a different type of business—one that would allow her to actually design and “work on ideas” more and manage employees, contracts and cash flow less. It didn’t take long for her to concoct a new idea: researching, writing and art directing attractive and accessible cookbooks for amateurs who love to experiment in the kitchen. Since Crazy About Cupcakes hit the market in 2006, she has published Pops! Icy Treats for Everyone (2008), Booze Cakes (2010) and just last fall, Crazy About Cookies and the sumptuous A World of Cake. On the following pages the “materials girl” talks about how and why creating cookbooks is such a natural fit for her interests and talents.

Krystina Castella BFA 89

All five of the cookbooks Castella has written focus on sweets. From cupcakes to cookies to ice pops and cakes, she fills her books with images that are as appealing to the eye as her recipes are to dessert lovers around the world.

Do you think that you bring something new or different to the cookbook market?

I try to. I write recipes with just enough detail that they’re not intimidating. And I always add variations and substitutions for ingredients so people feel free to customize and personalize the recipes. Being a designer and a visual person, I also think about the entire book—the recipes, the images, the sidebars, the layout and how they work together to make the book into a journey in itself.

As a designer, how and why did you decide to write your first cookbook?

In late 2000, after selling my design business and starting to teach fulltime, I was at a real turning point. I figured I’d start another business at some point, but structure it differently. In the meantime, I took a break, which to me means exploring. So I rollerskated at the beach, experimented with photography, took a few writing and cultural studies classes at UCLA and baked all the time. I began developing recipes and designing my own cupcakes—just for fun and for every birthday and party I went to. I made each cupcake different and photographed them all. As a designer who’s interested in cultural trends and always on the lookout for market niches, I saw the cupcake thing coming a few years later. The “kidult” phenomenon (where adults act like kids) was growing so fast that in New York, for instance, perfectly rational people with real jobs on Wall Street were standing in line at midnight to top off a night on the town with cupcakes from Magnolia.

Has it been easy getting postCupcakes books published?

So far every cookbook I’ve proposed has found a home with a publisher pretty quickly. But doing the research and experimentation in the kitchen and preparing a solid proposal really takes time. The proposal for Pops! Icy Treats for Everyone took me about six months to create. First I developed most of the recipes and then did a photo shoot with a food photographer so that the acquisitions editor could see what I was talking about. There’s this fine line between putting enough value into what you’ve developed to make someone want to work with you and putting so much into it that it’s no longer malleable enough to fit what a publisher needs. It’s very important to know just where that line is. I can imagine. And beyond the proposal, the production process is even more involved, isn’t it?

Given the preponderance of cookbooks out there, how did you manage to find a publisher?

Yes, but some books take longer then others. Booze Cakes and Pops! each took about nine months from the signing of the contract to the final photo shoot and a couple of more months for layout and edits. The two Crazy books each took about 18 months, and A World of Cake literally took six years.




bottom, far right: photo xxxxxxxxxx

I did my research and at the time there was not a single cupcake book on the market. I felt very confident about doing one because in addition to having developed hundreds of recipes and taken some beautiful images, I wrote a publishing proposal that established a strong case for a cupcake book from a business perspective. It included a detailed marketing and distribution plan along with persuasive numbers on the target market and the growth curve. Authors usually don’t submit that kind of thing, so my proposal really stood out. When several publishers called me back within a few weeks, I was in shock, but was also really excited.

Krystina Castella BFA 89

I bet it was quite a journey. But was it tough to sustain your enthusiasm over so many years?

No, not really, because there were so many facets. The first few years I collected recipes from people at school, spoke to food historians, folklorists and cookbook librarians. I tested and created hundreds of recipes. By that time, Crazy About Cupcakes had been distributed abroad and I had an international audience, so the research became much more interesting. When a woman from Singapore asked how to steam cupcakes in a wok, we went back and forth to figure it out and I ended up adding her recipe for a Pineapple Huat Kuah steamed cupcake. When a man from Zimbabwe asked me if he could use one of my cupcake recipes at his bakery, I said, “Sure. But now tell me about the cakes of your region of Africa.” And he did, so I included recipes for a lot of African fried snack cakes. When a food blogger in Brazil emailed to tell me that she loved my cupcake book, I asked her advice on what to include in A World of Cake.

Really? It definitely looks like your most ambitious and impressive cookbook to date, but how did it turn into such a long-term project?

Shortly after Cupcakes was finished there was a bake sale at Art Center with all of these amazing cakes that I had never seen before, mostly made by our international students. Rice cakes, mooncakes, phyllo pastry cakes, Indian sweets… I loved how each person had a story to tell about their favorite cakes—and everyone had a cake they loved no matter where they were from. The memories were more about how we experience cake—at birthdays, weddings, harvest festivals, baby showers and even funerals—and I thought, “This is amazing! I want to learn more.” So I started my journey to find the most interesting cakes of the world.

She immediately recruited people all over the country to help out by highlighting a regional specialty. Has what you learned at RISD helped with your cookbook career?

Well, I approach baking with the same materials approach I used at RISD. I like to create books that inspire play in the kitchen and I actually develop new recipes by playing with a pantry full of ingredients, cabinets filled with baking pans and a tool kit of decorating supplies. Taste, texture, form and color all come together in the process of baking and decorating. For the gingerbread constructions in Crazy About Cookies I designed a mid-century gingerbread house, fifth-wheel trailer and Christmas tree, then made scale drawings, built foam-core models and made them out of gingerbread. I used skills I first learned in my RISD Pre-College architecture classes. In Pops! I showcase everything I know and learned at RISD— including mold-making.

“When I’m trying to develop a  new recipe,  it’s more like  a combination of design and science.” Krystina Castella 89 ID



“I really love the  creative opportunities that sweets provide; it’s one realm where it’s completely acceptable to push the limits.” Do you think there’s an analogy between artistic and culinary creativity—in that they both involve improvisation, taking risks and using your intuition and instincts?

Probably. But when I’m trying to develop a new recipe, it’s more like a combination of design and science. With baking I usually study four or five of the same types of recipes to really understand what’s happening

What similarities do you see between creating in the kitchen and in the studio?

There are so many! In both cases I like to work alone and get inspired by the materials at hand. I’ve become so sensitive to ingredients that when I write a recipe I can taste it. I know how sweet or buttery or salty it will be, how much volume I have to work with and what color it will be after I bake it. I know if I swap out one ingredient for another how much more or less I need to use and how it will change the flavor. It may sound strange but it’s the same when designing with, say, wood; I know how soft the material is and what type of radius it could hold or joints and fasteners I can use to give it structure and form. If I finish it a certain way it will create a warmer feeling; if I do it another way it will be more modern. The same holds with making sweets.




Krystina Castella BFA 89

physically and chemically. Then I develop my own take on it, write it down and make it—over and over— until it tastes and looks exactly like what I envisioned. It’s the same thing with products. Say I’m designing a bookcase. I make about 10 or 12 full-size corrugated mock-ups. Then I look at them all and edit from there. In both cases, I make a lot of “prototypes” and then choose the best to develop.

Have you always been more interested in baking than in cooking?

That makes sense. So creating new recipes feels less like making art than combining science and design?

Well, to me the best ideas also need to consider the audience. Sometimes a recipe I like as an artist is not what I’ll choose to bring to market. I like to create things for the average consumer, so I make sure that the recipes I develop are easy to make and for foods people will really eat. If I design a bookcase, it needs to fit into a mainstream home and be affordable. And I make sure that both reveal my playful creative twist. With a book like Pops! I bought a stand-up freezer and did hundreds of scientific experiments with freezing different ingredients to see how the process transformed their texture and taste—and in the case of the cocktail pops, to find the perfect balance where the alcohol would freeze along with other ingredients. For Booze Cakes, which wasn’t quite as fun to research as its title suggests, I spent months baking, icing and soaking cakes in wine spirits and beer to figure out how to keep the boozy flavor in the final cake. Since this type of experimentation hadn’t been documented before, I was literally starting from scratch. But now that I’ve published the information, bakers can take it and run with it. What part of the cookbook creation process do you find most satisfying?

I love developing the recipes and art directing the photo shoots. When I pitch a project I ask to art direct and manage the photo shoot, and work with the designer on the layout. It’s a lot more work but it allows me to more closely express my vision for the book. I also produce a website for each one and get involved in publicity and audience-building because, as with any product, distribution is everything. The best-selling cookbooks are tied to media personalities (and now also to bloggers) who bring an audience to the table. So my advice to anyone who wants to write a cookbook: build an audience first.

I love to cook, too, but to me baking is more satisfying because mostly it involves making something special for someone or for an event. I really love the creative opportunities that sweets provide; it’s one realm where it’s completely acceptable to push the limits. Sometimes I want to create something healthy, other times I want something cute, or fancy and indulgent. I guess I could try the same thing with soup, but it just doesn’t seem as sculptural or imaginative. Do you have any other cookbooks in the works?

I have a few proposals in development and others that I’m talking to publishers about now. But I can’t really say much about them yet. What I can say is that the earliest you’ll see a new book from me will be next fall—and when you do, it will definitely be sweet.

Check out Castella’s cookbook sites here:

Keep connected to RISD through the Alumni Association’s network of 38 clubs around the country and the world.


A real people person, Polly Carpenter 77 PT loves getting to know all sorts of creative individuals, both as leader of the Carpenter Group in NYC and through the RISD/NY club.

A n o n ly chi ld, Polly Carpenter 77

was born in the small town of Rehoboth, MA—a settlement that members of her family helped found six generations back. Unlike her forebears, she never crossed the unpredictable waters of the Atlantic in a small ship, yet she clearly shares their pioneering spirit. Bright and positive, Carpenter started her first business in high school, marketing her calligraphic skills to turn a profit. While at RISD, she taught classes at the Newport Art Museum. Later, she successfully founded a strategic branding and marketing communications firm based in New York City and got involved in a little side project—the RISD/NY alumni club. In fact, Carpenter has always liked creating both artwork and opportunities. PT



“I realized early on that I enjoy the creative process and selling, networking and motivating others,” Carpenter says. Her independent, critical thinking skills were honed at RISD in part by staring down a white canvas. So afterwards, she simply transferred her “skills from the canvas to a larger format—a creative business.” Thirty years ago she founded the Carpenter Group, a branding business focused on the burgeoning financial services industry. “At the time, no one really worried about their financial future,” she says. “People invested, if at all, in a few stocks and bonds and relied on social security for their retirement. Today, financial services is one of the major industries in the US, if not the world. Our team helps these businesses tell a story without over-complicating it.” As a one-stop shop, the Carpenter Group develops and designs communications programs, product launches, marketing campaigns, advertising and business strategies. Her role is to guide the firm and develop the team, because she believes that “great people make a great company.” An avowed “people person,” Carpenter has been

a pivotal player in the RISD/NY club since the early 1990s. “I enjoy meeting new people, networking and helping alumni to succeed,” she says in explaining her ongoing commitment. Although club membership has waxed and waned over the years and space issues in New York make it challenging to hold events, Carpenter and club co-leader Michael Neff 04 PH are optimistic about the future. “This is probably the strongest team we’ve ever had,” she says of the core planning group. “Now if someone has an idea, they’ll take it and run with it. They plan and implement the entire thing, which is good experience.” Plans for 2011 include a museum event, an educational series on intellectual property and product marketing, a volunteer opportunity, a gallery tour in Chelsea and a couple of bar socials. Neff provides much-needed communications support for these events by doing Facebook, Twitter and blog posts. And as for Carpenter, she sums up what’s most gratifying about RISD/NY with this: “Staying involved with RISD and alums in the city keeps me up-to-date on what’s happening in all aspects of the arts. In a way it’s an ongoing focus group for me!” –Paula Martiesian 76 PT

photo by Peter Gregoire 77 PH

“I realized early on that I enjoy the creative process and selling, networking and motivating others.”

The members of RISD/Hong Kong, one of the newest clubs in the alumni network, always seem to be beaming when they get together and apparently got a good laugh out of the last issue of RISD XYZ, too.

CLUB Hopping

Jean Wasil 88 TX (above) has taken the initiative to spearhead a special interest group for textiles people as part of RISD/NY’s many activities. Professor Emeritus Maria Tulokas MAE 74/MFA 76 PR, shown here with Hyun Koh 09 TX, was among the emissaries from RISD who attended the first event in November.

RISD Etsy-ers Since Etsy, the online retail network for makers, launched its new “Etsy teams” feature in November, the Alumni Relations Office has been working to pull together alumni who already sell their work via the site or who are considering trying it and would like to be part of a RISD team. “The advantage is that by affiliating with RISD, you’ll attract more potential buyers and can help fellow alumni do better on Etsy as well,” notes Christina Hartley 74 IL,

director of Alumni Relations. In addition to getting the RISD seal of approval (“After all, the imprimatur is likely to help,” Hartley says), once the effort gets fully up and running, the RISD team page will highlight featured items, include student work and possibly present a curated line. “That’s all out there in the future,” Hartley says. “We got 364 alumni to sign up after our first email, so we’re off to a great start.” Contact or 401 454-6794 for more information.

For clubs and contacts in your area go to

RISD may not have a Division I sports team to pull alumni together, but the Alumni Association offers plenty more creative ways to meet up and interact. For example, when RISD/San Francisco alumni wanted to know what all the fuss was about over the student stage production RISD: The Musical!, they found out by arranging for a screening of the DVD of the show at Zeum, San Francisco’s Children’s Museum. The screening prompted more than a few laughs as they reminisced about the wild ride that is RISD, so wittily conveyed via the skits, songs and dance numbers students performed. This fall members of RISD/Philadelphia volunteered at Project HOME, a teen program at the Honickman Learning Center, working with young would-be entrepreneurs to create and produce retail products sold at the Rittenhouse Square Market. The group ended their day-long mentoring session with a picnic at Fairmount Park, sharing food and activities with family members of all ages. As part of RISD/NY, alumna Jean Wasil 88 TX saw a desire for Textiles alumni to come together to share their experiences and exchange practical information on career searches and new technology. The first RISD Textiles NY meeting in November brought together more than 120 alumni ready to network and celebrate their unique RISD connections. Jean is planning two meetings in 2011, with guest speakers from RISD’s Textiles Department, Career Center and industry specialists. The RISD/Hong Kong club held its second annual reception and dinner in December, with President John Maeda attending as a special guest. RISD alumni and parents enjoyed the split-venue event, first at the Pearly Studio (hosted by Pearl Ng 98 ID), then at the Mischmasch Gallery (courtesy of Alice Zhang 06 GD). Among other clubs, RISD-after-work gatherings continue to be popular social and networking events, growing in frequency in New York, San Francisco and Atlanta. Other events in the works for this year are studio and gallery crawls, special museum tours, career presentations and more.

Winter 2011


RISD SWEETHEARTS (We got more than our degrees at RISD!) In her sophomore year at RISD Lisa (Plantenga) Berry 04 PH was glad she put a lot of thought into her Lady of Shallot costume for the Artists’ Ball. That night, after she took a look at drummer John Berry 04 IL, she determined that she just had to meet the musicians playing the event. She did—and then didn’t even wait for graduation to tie the knot. The couple married right after junior year and now, eight years later, Lisa says, “John is a gem of a man. I’ve often thought that just finding him was well worth the tuition.” Since graduation Lisa has met and photographed a lot of other RISD couples and weddings. As a professional photographer, she says that RISD weddings are “hands down the most fun and beautiful celebrations. RISD grads marrying each other is—well, one of my very favorite things.” Lisa feels an instant connection when meeting RISD alumni. “They all plan the details of their weddings with such care, foregoing current trends to incorporate their own personal ideas,” she says. “And there’s nothing like seeing a bunch of alumni on the dance floor. They’re so fun to photograph!” The Alumni Relations Office wants to celebrate more couples who connected as students. If you met your sweetheart at RISD, please send us your story—how you met and a bit about your life together—and become a member of RISD Sweethearts, a frivolous little lovers’ club for creative couples. Don’t forget to include a good photo of the two of you. You’ll get a RISD Sweethearts bumper sticker or pin, and your story just may be selected to run in an upcoming issue of RISD XYZ.

John Berry 04 IL and Lisa (Plantenga) Berry 04 PH (above) found each other at RISD and have been together ever since. He’s now a painting professor at DePauw University in Greencastle, IN and she specializes in wedding photography and particularly loves photographing RISD couples getting together. Her photos of Jon Saunders 05 IL + Emily Arthur 06 ID (above right) and Joel Wakeman 06 ID + Miranda Wall 06 ID/MAT 07 are shown here. To see more, go to lisaberry

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS BECKY FONG? As a student, Becky Fong 05 GD was active on the Student Alliance. As an alum, she has also been a committed RISD volunteer, whether living in Rhode Island, Boston or most recently in Atlanta, where she served as a club leader. This year Becky is largely on the road, visiting far-flung alumni clubs and those close to home. Her mission? To touch base with young alumni, talk about life post-RISD, share news about initiatives on campus and off, encourage people to keep 36


connected, and remind everyone about RISD resources that could be helpful, including the Career Center, the online alumni directory and the Artworks database. Becky met with alumni in Hong Kong in late December, where a small group gathered at Club 71 in the Central District. They had fun catching up over drinks and sharing notes about President Maeda’s visit earlier in the month. Follow Becky’s blog posts about her travels at

RISD + AS220 Celebrate New Printshop In January alumni gathered to celebrate the opening of newly expanded facilities for the AS220 Printshop in downtown Providence. Printshop Director Morgan Calderini 07 PR (shown here to the left of Agata Michalowska 07 PR) is one of the many alumni and key players involved in AS220. She recently convinced the RISD Printmaking Department that since its giant Takach Etching Press was no longer being used by students, AS220 could give it a great new home. above right: Among the others at the opening were Peter Lutz, Printshop staff member Lois Harada 10 PR and Claire Robinson, associate

Alumni reunion weekend moves to mid-october

director of Alumni Relations + Special Events at RISD.

top: photos by Arley-Rose Torsone

2 ND LIFE recycles quality supplies 2nd Life, the eco-friendly art supply program run by RISD students, offers repurposed materials at greatly reduced prices and is a welcomed cost-saving resource on campus. But to make the program “completely self-sustaining,” Joseph Escobar 13 JM and the other students who run it want to strengthen their connections with alumni. Escobar points to two recent donations—from Jacinda Crew 99 IL and Scott Bodenner 93 TX—as examples of how the program ideally works. Bodenner gave textiles supplies he no longer used, while Crew donated a lot of paper along with acrylics, watercolors, a French easel and colored markers and pencils. “I remember how expensive materials were for me when I was a student, so I was delighted to donate supplies that I knew RISD students would value,” she says. Though 2nd Life sells its materials, it charges only a fraction of what they would cost on the open market. “We’d love to give the materials away for free, if we could,” says Escobar. “But charging allows us to cover our costs.” It also lets students know that 2nd Life offers “quality materials” and doesn’t just re-sell “stuff people want to toss.” Escobar says that students and faculty are enthusiastic about the program, which has enabled 2nd Life to pay student workers, open a third location, sponsor For clubs and contacts in your area go to

a recent exhibition involving Eco-Rhode Island and launch a new website. “We’re growing, so we need to plan adequately for our future”—which includes reaching out to alumni, Escobar says. “They know from their own experience how critical it is for young artists to have access to quality materials.” For more information about donating materials, go to

RISD by Design 2011, our annual alumni reunion and parents’ weekend, will take place from Friday through Sunday, October 14–16 this year. Please note that this is the middle weekend in October (not the first, as has been the tradition for the past few years). We recommend booking accommodations early since mid-fall is a particularly popular time for visiting Providence, especially given all the colleges and special events in town. Go to for a list of options. Remember, if your year of graduation ends in a 1 or a 6, the 2011 weekend means it’s time to come back for your reunion! These gatherings tend to be most meaningful when members of the classes in question plan them together. So why not help? Contact Claire Robinson (401 454-6379 or in the Alumni Relations Office if you’d like to find out how to get involved.

winter 2011


rediscover risd this summer Give yourself, your family and your friends a taste of the RISD experience. Pre-College Program Explore the art school experience and build your application portfolio June 25 – August 6

Textiles Summer Institute Experience RISD’s renowned textiles studios and faculty firsthand June 13 –July 22

Summer Institute for Graphic Design Studies Delve into a broad range of graphic design topics, in two-week course modules June 13 – August 5

Career re:Design Program Discover a new path as a professional designer July 25 – August 5

Summer Studies Tap into a rich variety of six-week RISD studio and liberal arts courses June 27 – August 5

Registration is now open.

Study Abroad Programs Take your art to new places: Switzerland + Beyond: Art, Architecture + Design August 7 – 19 Stir Copenhagen: Design, Culture + Your Senses August 7 – 21

RISD Continuing Education, 345 South Main Street, 2nd floor, Providence, RI 02903 800 364-7473 (press 2) 401 454-6200

A glimpse of what’s happening at the heart of campus— with the president, students, faculty and staff.

Proud of the good food served in RISD’s dining facilities, President Maeda spent an evening working alongside staff chefs as a means of better understanding the student experience.


John Maeda RISD’s President

Years ago, as a professor at MIT, I discovered

the power of two simple words: “free pizza.” Scribbled on a flyer or typed in the subject line of an email, it was more powerful in motivating students to show up than just about any other enticement. Food has brought people together since the beginning of time—often out of necessity, but also because as social animals, we like to eat together. I like to cook, too, and continue to use my skill in the kitchen to help bring people together. Making people work together can be fairly challenging, but getting them to eat together is vastly easier. Sharing a meal is a natural catalyst for conversations, and conversations often lead to collaboration. Both on campus and off, I’ve been having some amazing conversations this year—some over good meals, others with a cup of tea. As a community, one of the things we’ve been discussing most is the new

“Sharing a meal is a natural catalyst for conversations, and conversations often lead to collaboration.” five-year strategic plan we’re still fine-tuning and intend to launch in July. We’re calling it Connecting the Dots because, with any luck, that’s what it will do for RISD. From the beginning, we designed this planning process to be flexible, comprehensive, inclusive and actionable—especially since RISD can’t afford to create

a static roadmap that gets shelved within months of being issued. Over the course of the last year, more than 70 members of our community—including a broad cross-section of students, faculty and staff—came together to shape various aspects of the strategic plan. Together, they’ve shared plenty of breakfasts and lunches, fitting these meetings in between the other demands of their day. And over shared meals, they’ve exchanged ideas, allowed conversations to flourish or meander, and developed a stronger sense of cohesion and community. Led by Provost Jessie Shefrin, the core group thought deeply about the academic programs, structure and curriculum at the heart of RISD. Others investigated life at and after RISD; local and global engagement; sustainability and the environment; and healthcare and wellness. Together, all of these groups looked carefully at the interests of our students now and in the near future. Students are entering a world that is vastly changed from a few decades ago and RISD needs to meet and guide their needs in a way that is true to our fundamental values and in line with a clear vision. So that’s what all the conversations, shared meals and enticements of “free food” have been about. I also like to get together with students over meals at the Met and Carr Haus. It’s a valuable way for me to connect with them and hear what they’re thinking. And I regularly invite small groups of faculty to join me for breakfast—because at RISD, like elsewhere, one of the best ways to begin to connect the dots is through food.

For more, go to And follow John at +



Reinvent and Reinvest This rendering by Susan Nugraha 11 IA and Benjamin Sandell MArch 11 shows their vision of a totally reimagined Providence Arcade as work and gallery space for creative entrepreneurs.

FOR STUDENTS STARTING OUT During Wintersession key players at Kickstarter, Etsy and Quirky— three of the leaders in online entrepreneurial practices—visited RISD to speak to students about the tools their companies offer to creative start-ups. “I see Kickstarter as a way around the bureaucracy of the ‘real world’ and a nod back to the days when patrons engaged with artists directly,” noted Charles Adler , co-founder of Kickstarter. The site allows anyone to propose a creative project in any medium and solicit micro-funding from people interested in making it happen. Though each company differs

in its approach, all three speakers agree that presentation, craftsmanship and a personal touch are essential. “Curating your own work and deciding what to leave out is as important as what to put in,” Etsy’s rep, Vanessa Bertozzi, told students. And they shouldn’t underestimate the importance of good karma, either. “RISD students are part of a network of amazing artists and designers,” she noted. “The more that people participate, give back, critique and advise others, the more community it creates, both literally [by increasing web links] and figuratively.”

America’s oldest indoor shopping mall, built in the Greek Revival style, may undergo yet another revival, thanks to RISD students and faculty. In December Architecture and Interior Architecture students presented their ideas for reinventing Providence’s Arcade to a gathering of professors, architects, historians and local business people. The impetus for rethinking how to use the Arcade came from Professor Emeritus Friedrich St. Florian, best known as the designer of the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC and locally, as the architect behind Providence Place Mall. “The Arcade is a jewel,” says St. Florian, who returned from retirement to teach Reinventing the Providence Arcade. “No other building has its landmark qualities and infrastructure.” The 19th-century building has been empty since 2008 when the credit crunch put a planned $8-million renovation on hold. Working in teams, students produced design and business models meant to bring the landmark building and the surrounding blocks back to life. Not surprisingly, their proposals varied considerably: a boutique hotel using part of The Arcade for its lobby, with guest rooms in an adjacent high-rise; an apartment tower with an attached fitness center and rooftop jogging track; studio and gallery spaces for artists; an urban farm for growing bamboo and promoting green products; a spa and sports center; and a high school for the performing arts. Though it’s still too early to see how these proposals might influence future development of the Arcade, RISD studios focused on Providence have a history of furthering positive urban renewal. “We did it as a public service,” St. Florian affirms. “We wanted to move the discussion back to the front burner.”

RISD GETS THE ALL-NIGHTER More than 50 student writers, designers, photographers and illustrators have rallied behind Editor-inChief Erica Morse 12 GD and Art Director Rachel Hallock 12 GD, the founders of RISD’s new student publication The All-Nighter. As a team, they’re committed to keeping the online weekly fresh, relevant and lively, despite having to pull all-nighters to make it happen. Since launching the site last fall, students have been contributing news, opinion pieces, reviews and events information, along with engaging imagery to support each piece. The site also includes “Spotlight” coverage of selected students, alumni and faculty. So far the All-Nighter crew has been able to keep to the ambitious schedule of publishing a new issue every week—after yet another sleepless Wednesday.



Balling Out RISD students know how to have a good time—especially when there’s costumery involved, as this smattering of images from the latest Artists’ Ball indicates. Though not everyone was in it for the competition, Tyler DiBiasio 12 FAV and Ian Taylor 12 GD (left), who spoofed the popular band Die Antwoord, won for Cutest Couple and lovely loofa girl Stefania Urist 13 GL (far left) landed the prize for Most Useful. For the full effect, go to and search for Costume Round-Up, where you’ll see other winners in the costume contest and find a link to more photos on Facebook showing students like these two giraffes having a ball.

bottom, right: ©Lillian Bassman, courtesy of the artist and Staley Wise Gallery

Bridging the Art/Science Gap

Cocktail Culture This spring the RISD Museum is mounting a multi-

by such iconic designers as Geoffrey Beene, Pierre

disciplinary exhibition that will explore America’s

Cardin, Coco Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Christian

mid-20th-century love affair with social drinking

Dior and many others, along with more than 150

and entertainment through the lens of fashion

related objects—from barware and furniture to

and design. Cocktail Culture: Ritual and Invention

graphics, photography and advertising. The V.Back

in American Fashion 1920–1980, organized by

Evening Dress, a gelatin silver print by Lillian

Curator of Costume and Textiles Joanne Dolan

Bassman, is representative of some of the work in

Ingersoll, features fun examples of cocktail-wear

the show, which runs from April 15 through July 31.

For more on these and other stories, go to

In January leaders from the fields of science, math, engineering, art, design and education converged at RISD for a two-day workshop sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Called Bridging STEM to STEAM: Developing New Frameworks for Art-ScienceDesign Pedagogy, the workshop was organized by RISD educators and Principal Investigators Christopher Rose and Brian K. Smith and hosted by President John Maeda and Provost Jessie Shefrin . A number of other RISD people also participated in the series of inspiring discussions. The issue is “not about adding on arts education,” noted Margaret Honey, president and CEO of the New York Hall of Science, in addressing the group. “It’s about fundamentally changing education to incorporate the experimentation and exploration that is at the heart of effective pedagogy.” WINTER 2011


Faculty Newsbites

XS (2010, oil on canvas, 48x48") by Assistant Professor of Illustration Susan Doyle 81 IL/MFA 98 PT/PR and Lonesome (2007, cast Galapogos Tortoise carapace, stainless steel) by Professor of Glass Rachel Berwick 84 GL are among the works featured in the 2011 Faculty Biennial.

Last fall the Society for Photographic Education (SPE) presented Photography Professor and Acting Dean of Fine Arts Deborah Bright with its Honored Educator Award. Professor Donna Bruton, faculty members Yizhak Elyashiv MFA 92 JM and McDonald Wright 96 PH, and Professor Emeritus Malcolm Grear are among the RISD people profiled in NetWorks, a series of fascinating documentaries about Rhode Island’s leading artists. The video portraits were shot by Richard Goulis 84 FAV and aired locally on PBS. Videos from the series can also be seen on the NetWorksProject YouTube channel. Printmaking faculty member Daniel Heyman was awarded a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship. His show Bearing Witness continues through March 13 at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and this spring he’s showing at Linfield College Art Gallery and White Box Gallery in Portland, OR. Assistant Professor of Architecture Jonathan Knowles has received a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to mount a studio with colleagues at Erfurt University of Applied Sciences in Germany, where they teach Passiv-

IT’S FACULTY BIENNIAL TIME RISD’s much-anticipated 2011 Faculty Biennial opened at the RISD Museum on February 24 to coincide with the start of spring semester. Featuring new work by more than 190 full- and part-time faculty members, the show is the largest biennial yet—consuming all three gallery floors of the Chace Center. As always,

the mix of work is broad and satisfying—painting, sculpture, photography, prints, installations, textiles, ceramics, glass, jewelry, film, digital work and more. The opportunity to see the caliber of work created by the extraordinary artists and designers who teach at RISD in a single show is not only exciting, it’s incredibly moving and inspiring. The biennial continues through March 20.

Haus construction standards. The DAAD funding will enable RISD with their counterparts on two projects over spring break. Professor Emeritus Kryzstof Lenk reflects on 28 years of teaching at RISD through his bilingual (English/Polish) book, Projects and Doodles. He has also curated an exhibition of the best student work produced in his Information Design classes. Accompanied by a catalogue, the show opened at Cieszyn Castle in Poland, and will travel to Warsaw in March and Helsinki, Finland in May. Dean of Graduate Studies Patti Phillips recently served as a juror for ArtPrize 2010, an international competition in Grand Rapids, MI. Ursula von Rydingsvard: Working, her 224-page book surveying 30 years of monumental work by the renowned German sculptor, is being released in March by Prestel USA. 42


FUNDING FOR FACULTY RESEARCH The Professional Development Fund Committee has granted funding to the following faculty members for projects being undertaken during the first six months of 2011: Catherine Andreozzi and Kathleen Grevers (Apparel Design), for research in China on current and next-generation knitwear technology and associated production techniques; Laura Colella (Film/ Animation/Video), for post-production fees related to her micro-budget feature film Breakfast with Curtis; Liz Collins 91 TX/MFA 99 (Textiles), to help prepare for Knitting Nation performances at the ICA in Boston; Catherine D’Ignazio (Digital + Media), for research in Arizona to prepare for an installation about the international border dividing the Tohono O’odham nation; Gabriel Feld (Architecture), for field research in Cairo related to a book he’s writing about urban design and the city as a cultural artifact; Daniel Hewett (Interior/Landscape Architecture), for research in India to develop community design/build activities

in collaboration with India’s National Design Institute; Leslie Hirst (Foundation Studies), to help prepare for a two-person show at REDUX Contemporary Art Center in Charleston, SC; Anne Hood (English), to teach a workshop in Uganda on writing about grief and loss; Mallica Kumbera-Landrus (History of Art + Visual Culture), for research in India on the divinity of figures represented in erotic temple sculpture; Alan Michelson (Foundation Studies), to help prepare for an upcoming show on international indigenous art at the Gordon Samstag Museum of Art in Adelaide, Australia; Peter O’Neill (Film/Animation/Video), release time to complete post-production work on a documentary on Hmong refugees; Linda Sormin (Ceramics), release time to produce work for an upcoming installation at Denver [CO] Art Museum; Eva Sutton (Photography), for a video oral history about Cambodian refugees; Johan Van Aswegan (Jewelry + Metalsmithing), to study engraving processes he plans to use in making work for a show at Siena Gallery.

top right: photo by John Groo

students to travel to Germany to work

This spring at RISD | CE :

• Career + Business Management for Artists and Designers • Digital Design Intensives • Applied Illustration • Arts Project + Event Management and much more! Registration now open for spring RISD Continuing Education classes.



The RISD Museum helped open the world of art and design to you when you were a student. It’s still here for you. 2011 exhibition highlights Cocktail Culture Changing Poses: The Artist’s Model 2011 Faculty Biennial Newly restored Ancient, Medieval and Early Renaissance galleries 20% of your Alumni Membership is directed to the Phil Seibert [BFA ’67 IA] Alumni Acquisition Fund, which supports the purchase of works of art by RISD alumni. Join today! Call 401.454.6322 or visit us online at



A look at some of the many ways people invest in RISD and support current and future generations of students.

Meaningful Gifts

As a st ud en t at RI SD, Stephen



Stephen Earle 82 TX contributes regularly to the RISD Annual Fund and has also endowed a scholarship in memory of his parents.

to establish a scholarship at RISD in memory of his parents, Barbara and John Earle. “My parents had always supported me—both financially and emotionally—throughout my time at RISD,” Earle explains. “I felt this was the perfect way to honor them and help students who are at RISD now.” After completing the process, he realized that creating

still support the college that changed his life and has the potential to benefit so many other artistic students in years to come. In the meantime, he continues to support the RISD Annual Fund, renewing his membership in the President’s Circle each year as a way of reaffirming his ongoing commitment to his favorite art and design school. And through the John and Barbara

“My parents had always supported me at RISD… I felt this was the perfect way to honor them and help students who are at RISD now.” an endowed scholarship is similar to buying a dream home—it’s a significant step to take, but one with countless rewards. “Once you have funded a new scholarship, it’s there forever,” he says. And as with residential property and real estate, “you can continue to add to it over time, making it increasingly more valuable and a true investment in your future.” Earle is also looking ahead, planning to make a legacy gift to RISD so that even once he’s gone he will

Earle Scholarship Fund, he sees firsthand the impact he is making on individual students. “Once you have that connection with a student— from the first letter they send telling you why your support means so much—you’re hooked,” he says. “The place that gave you such warm memories and the path to your success is now benefiting from you. It’s a great feeling knowing that you’re now making a real difference.”

photo by Michael Neff 04

Earle 82 TX just naturally assumed that anyone in a position to endow a named scholarship was wealthy. He didn’t know any donors personally, but he knew their names through the scholarships that were helping many of his friends and classmates to meet the cost of a RISD education. Years later, Earle sees certain things quite differently, especially now that he has funded a named scholarship of his own at RISD. But he was as surprised as anyone to discover that doing so was within his means. After his first long-term job— at Martha Stewart Living, where he worked his way up to a senior vice president—Earle moved on to his current position as senior vice president for Home Design at Polo Ralph Lauren. He had been giving what he could to the RISD Annual Fund every year, in recognition of a quality education that had given him the critical thinking skills and confidence to pursue a rewarding career. But it wasn’t until 2006 that Earle realized he could actually afford to fund his own scholarship. After learning from RISD’s advancement office exactly what it would take, he resolved that his next philanthropic goal would be

left: Amanda

Daubers Support Mental Health

Dauber 06 PT at her RISD graduation. Her parents say that she regarded Ophelia (2006, oil on canvas, 45x57") as her best painting and the one most representative of her work.

In memory of their daughter, Amanda Dauber 06 PT (1982–2008), Michele and Ken Dauber have made a cornerstone gift to the Student Development and Counseling Services department at RISD. Amanda suffered from depression and substance abuse and took her own life in 2008. “Amanda loved RISD and did wonderful work there,” notes Michele, who is a professor of law at Stanford University. “We hope that through this gift we can help to de-stigmatize mental illness on campus and make help more readily available for students who need it.” Thanks to the Daubers’ generosity Samantha Becker, a clinical social worker who has worked with college students at Mount Holyoke, SUNY/Stony Brook and Wellesley, has joined RISD’s counseling staff. A strong generalist, her areas of clinical concentration include women’s, gender and race issues, eating disorders, relationship concerns, depression and anxiety. “Mental health is a big issue right now on college campuses across the country,” notes Ken Dauber, an engineer at Google. “We want to help RISD improve in this area because we know how important it is to reach out to artistically talented individuals who are struggling with issues like bipolar disorder, addiction and other mental illnesses.”

Make It Better On March 11 and 12 RISD is hosting Make It Better, a symposium on art, design and the future of health care. Sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the series of open conversations will bring leading artists, designers and activists together with health professionals, policy-makers, entrepreneurs and members of the RISD community to frame an expanded role for art and design in improving the healthcare industry. The RWJF is supporting Make It Better through its Pioneer Portfolio (, which

For more on giving to RISD, go to

supports innovators with bold ideas that push beyond conventional thinking about health and health care. As the country’s largest philanthropy devoted to improving these areas, RWJF shares RISD’s belief that exploring alternative models for research and collaboration between disparate fields—including art, design, medicine, science—can transform health and healthcare delivery in the 21st century. The symposium is free and open to the public, but requires registration at, where you’ll also find a full schedule and list of speakers.



underGraduate Class Notes

332 2009 alumni referenced


most referenced class

most frequently referenced major in this issue

Sol Armada 92 AP

Chandler O’Leary 03 IL

Sarah D. Haskell 76 TX

Regina Mamou 05 PH

Louie Rigano 10 ID

Matt Cottam BID 00

Marsha Zilles BArch 70 Denise Dubuque-Lyn 89 IL

Cyrilla Suwarsa 95 GD

Peter Maltbie 84 PH

Hamtramck 1946 475 65 21,600 59 Bullawayo, Zimbabwe

quirkiest city name in class notes

# of students in Class of ’14




% of females in Class of ’14


relative frequency of majors referenced






most unlikely spot for an alum’s exhibition

earliest class year referenced

# of alumni in risd’s database

% of females among alumni on record












Eric Engstrom 64 IL right: In December and January Eric (Fairfax, CA) had a solo show entitled Roadside Distractions at Gallery Route One in Point Reyes Station, CA. The work reflects his interest in history, vernacular architecture

Karol Wade Wyckoff 58 IL

and the character of “the places in-between” along the back roads of America. “I’m a great

Karol writes that she will turn 75 in May, and still puts in long hours in her studio in South Yarmouth, MA. Her watercolor Bass River—Run Pond (2010, 16x20") is among the many many recent landscape paintings she shows and sells through local galleries and her site:

admirer of rural barns, those



Marilyn Hall AP (La Veta, CO)

writes that The 1899 Inn, her B&B in La Veta, CO, is now run by her daughter and a friend. Marilyn still loves to travel— her recent jaunts include trips to Greece and Savannah, GA. All four of her children are in the arts and all four reside in Colorado along with her seven adult grandchildren.

1958 Roberta Hopkins Ayotte TX

recently taught a class to the members of the Artistic Weavers Guild in Sun City, AZ, where she lives. Under her guidance, each participant created a handwoven top suitable to her own body type and size, and then presented it as part of a fashion show at the culmination of the class. Last spring an article on Tom Beaudet TX (Westfield, MA) entitled Ready for whatever looms in retirement ran in the Westfield Evening News. Tom

utilitarian structures without architects that manage to define their regions and uses so perfectly,” he says.

retired to Westfield in 1995 and has been rebuilding, updating and repairing treadle looms ever since.

In October Keith Hollingworth CR exhibited new work at Gallery A3 in Amherst, MA, where he lives.

1960 Ellie Schimelman AE (Brookline, MA) is once again offering two workshops in Ghana this summer. For details, visit

1961 50th reunion October 14–16, 2011

1963 Helen Webber AE (Paxton, PA) wrote to let us know about her blog Helen Webber’s Art Talk (

1964 New York-based artist Elizabeth Ginsberg TX (elizabethginsberg. com) is currently in Italy doing a second residency via the Emily Harvey Foundation. This year she’s working on a new

far right, middle: photo by Soctt McCue

Allan Peterson 62 PT Allan’s third full-length book of poetry As Much As is being published this year by Salmon Press in Ireland. The cover features one of his drawings and was designed by his classmate Michael Manoogian 62 GD (North Hollywood, CA). Last October Allan (Gulf Breeze, FL) was among the international poets invited to attend the 2010 Cuisle International Poetry Festival in Limerick, Ireland. To submit updates for class notes, email

mixed-media project during her February — March stay in Venice, a city she first visited during her EHP year at RISD. She also recently showed work in Fracking: Art and Activism Against the Drill, which was on view in January and February at Exit Art in NYC. Work by Sterett-Gittings Kelsey SC (Roxbury, CT) from her sculpture series The Kelsey Bronzes can be found in 88 countries and major museums. She is currently at work on a new national monument for the Freedom Angel Foundation. Visual learning specialist Stuart Murphy IL (Boston) collaborated on a new digital math instruction program for high school students that won a 2010 Award of Excellence from Tech & Learning magazine.

1965 On September 15, 2010 an op-ed piece by Rick Shnitzler BArch— called SS United States: Old School move over. Right now!— ran in both the University City Review and the Weekly Press in Philadelphia, where he lives.

1966 45th reunion October 14–16, 2011

Huddles, a piece by Deidre Scherer AE (Williamsville, VT), is featured in A Stitch in Jewish Time: Provocative Textiles, on view through June 30 at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum in New York City. Her work was also included in State of Craft, a recent group exhibition at Bennington [VT] Museum.

Judy Kensley McKie 66 PT Tiger Table (2009, cast bronze, 34x60x12") is among the newly editioned work in bronze and limestone Judy presented in a late fall show at Gallery NAGA in Boston. The gallery also showcased a large and varied selection of Judy’s recent studio furniture. She lives and works in Cambridge, MA.

Ben Larrabee 67 PT Fine art portrait photography, recent images of horses (like this one) and articulated Kozo paper prints were among the works Ben exhibited last fall at The Gallery at Greenwich Tavern in Old Greenwich, CT. Ben lives in Darien, CT and also won third place in the B&W photography category in the Rowayton Arts Center’s annual Mavis Fenner Memorial All Media Juried Show for a photograph entitled Montana.

Karen (Canner) Moss PT

(see page 5)

1967 In December and January work by Mary Curtis Ratcliff AE (Berkeley, CA) was shown in Mercury Multiples: Artists’ Editions, a selection of limitededition multiples created by members of Mercury 20 gallery in Oakland, CA. She also exhibited at the gallery last summer. WINTER 2011


C.E. Morse 71 PH Lanham #13 and Sopoty #63 (each 24x36") and other archival prints from Christopher’s series Consequential Abstracts were featured in a fall solo show at Harvard University’s Three Columns Gallery in Cambridge, MA. For more on the Mainebased photographer’s work, go to

the first Tilapia Research Fish Farm for Woods Hole Oceanographic marine biologists.”

1969 A poem from the Plein Air tanka series by Ed Baranosky PT (Toronto, Canada) has been accepted for publication in the February 2011 issue of Lynx Poetry Journal. Last fall Deborah Cornell PT (Lincoln, MA) and husband Richard Cornell presented their collaborative installation The Sleep of Reason, A Cautionary Tale at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA.

1970 Marsha Zilles BArch (Santa

Barbara, CA) writes: “I have my own architectural firm (Z.A.G.) in the Santa Barbara/Montecito, California area…. I also consult for Hope Ranch, CA 93110 and run their Architectural Review Board. For UCSB—I helped the students raise close to $1 million to build the new bike path entry to the campus from Goleta Beach Park, and completed the Broida bike path…. I am also green-build certified and back in the 1970s built with Fred Fassett BArch

1971 40th reunion October 14–16, 2011


din-din, a solo exhibition of new

was selected by ARTINFO for

work by Jerry Mischak PT,

its Power 2010 list of influential

was featured late last fall at

figures in the art world. “The

Industry Gallery in Washington,

American designer is rescuing

DC. The primary installation,

the modernist potential of glass,”

called dinner table/such a night,

noted the editors. One of the

presented a banquet table

projects mentioned is 7 World

full of dozens of plates, glasses,

Trade Center, “whose glass

flatware and wine bottles

curtain walls create a sort of

wrapped in 3000 yards of orange

vitrine for a Jenny Holzer MFA

vinyl tape, which he uses as

77 PT installation in the lobby.”

a unifying “skin” for many

Tina Davis GD (see page 7)

Jerry lives in Providence and

The Atelier, 2002–2008, a solo show of paintings by Carleton Fletcher PT, was on view

Ruth Davis PT (Providence)

for the month of November

has joined the board of trustees of the Alliance of Artists Communities, a national organization that represents, advocates for and supports artist-in-residence programs throughout the US and overseas. She maintains an arts-related public relations and event marketing practice in both Providence and New York.

at Washington Studio School

“The amount of love and labor put into the product Nancy grows— it’s like a treasure,” Johnny Iuzzini, the pastry chef at Jean Georges, noted in a recent New York Times article. For 15 years she has been

1976 35th reunion October 14 –16, 2011

Carleton lives in DC and teaches

For the second year in a row, Nathaniel Hesse SC won Best

Last fall Georgia Marsh PT

[TX] Sculpture on Main competi-

in Show in the 2010 Marble Falls (NYC) exhibited her paintings

tion. His piece Seated Couple was

at Didi Suydam Contemporary,

featured on the cover of Lake

the jewelry and sculpture gallery

Country Life magazine (10.6.10)

Didi Suydam 85 JM runs in

and will be on display in Marble

Newport, RI.

Falls for a year.

Nancy (Baldwin) MacNamara 69 PH farming intensely on two acres, planting every seed by hand, cultivating successful lines and developing produce varieties that can’t be found anywhere else. She is also a sought-after teacher, with students passionate about traditional farming methods eager to work with her in the fields. Nancy admits that it wasn’t a direct path from RISD darkrooms to the garden. “After graduating, I realized that commercial photography wasn’t for me,” she says. But looking back at the photos she shot during her EHP year in Rome, she realizes that Italy’s fresh produce markets were already catching her attention. The European approach to eating also rubbed off. “In my generation, a lot of Baby Boomers went to Europe, came back and influenced how Americans now eat,” she notes.

—Anna Cousins

Nancy MacNamara 69 PH grows extraordinary greens and a cornucopia of other edibles at her organic farm in the Hudson River Valley. She regularly sells her produce at farmers’ markets and to discerning chefs in Manhattan.


teaches at RISD, Brown and the University of Rhode Island.

at the school.

True to her roots, Nancy is a regular at farmers’ markets, where she sells home-grown and -crafted jams, teas, syrups, pickles, honey and cider, in addition to herbs, fruits and vegetables, cut flowers and live plants. And, of course, everything she grows and produces is done so organically. “If we put people back into a healthy relationship with the earth,” she says, “everything will fall into place.”


of his colorful sculptural pieces.

Gallery in Washington, DC.

EASY BEING GREEN Nancy MacNamara didn’t just go organic once everyone else did—the trend followed her. Now the owner of Honey Locust Farm in New York’s Hudson River Valley, she has been practicing traditional gardening methods since she was 14. When food co-ops were big in the ’70s, she was one of the original New York City greengrocers, and her produce is still popular in Manhattan—though now it’s snapped up by top chefs at highend restaurants.


James Carpenter IL (NYC)

Michael J. Kautter BArch 81 Michael (Wyomissing, PA) was the principal architect for a recent rehabilitation of the historic Reading [PA] Pagoda, a project that earned him a 2010 Historic Preservation Award for Special Historic Properties from Preservation Pennsylvania.

1977 Polly Carpenter PT (see

page 34)

with her musician husband Jim, premiered at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA in December. The Village

Since publishing his first book,

Voice called it “genuinely moving”

Pakuwon City: Letters from the

and The New York Times

East (CreateSpace, November

applauded it for “pulsing with

2010), Ricker Winsor PH/MFA

creative experimentation.”

78 ( has been busy with book signings and readings. The book chronicles his own “journey of self-discovery” as both a young man and an aging one living, working and traveling in Europe, Asia, Africa and Central America. Two of his stories were also published recently in France. Ricker is

Valerie Hird PT (Burlington, VT; has created The Trinity (2010), a limited-edition book of cards with 30 original images on one side and text on the other. Together they tell the story of a dream she had in which there were “three of her,” she explains: “the conscious mind

based in Bradford, VT.

who lives the endless worries


dreamer who dreams the dream

The Blue Flower (theblueflower. org), a “Dada-inspired romp” that Ruth Bauer PT co-wrote

and wonders of everyday life, the holding a sliver of her mind apart, and the dream which is dreamt by the dreamer.” Stuart Karten ID (Marina

Alberto de Braud 83 PH In November Alberto exhibited the sculptural installation Opere su Opere (Works on Works) at the International Padova [Italy] Art Fair. Alberto lives and works in Milan.

Del Rey, CA), founder of SKD, addressed a group of medical device manufacturers in September at the IMD Expo in San Jose, CA. His topic was the ways that design can inspire trust from end users—a topic especially relevant to medical manufacturers, many of whose products must be trusted in life-or-death situations.

spots in Warren, RI at the end of 2010. The project, a collaboration with researcher Doug Hinman and mill historian Rick Greenwood, focused on mill culture and textile industry history in the US over the course of 200 years. The exhibition included artifacts from Slater Mill, audiovisual testimonials from former mill workers in Warren, photos and mill songs.

1982 Stephen Earle TX (see page 44)

1983 Oil Paintings by Martha Doolin IL (Newton, MA) were on view at the Newton [MA] Free Library last October. Last fall an article by David Langton GD (Ardsley, NY) entitled Social networking is here to stay was published in Investment News (9.5.10).

On a TV episode introducing the new tablet version of Living magazine for the iPad, Martha Stewart applauded the work of the team at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia that worked so hard to make it a success, including Eric Pike GD, Michele Outland 94 GD and the latest RISD grads to be hired, twin brothers Nate Mueller MFA 10 DM and Kirk Mueller MFA 10 DM.

Sarah D. Haskell 76 TX Last November Sarah (York, ME) exhibited Thread by Thread, a solo show of woven textiles and mixed-media works, at the Maine Fiberarts Gallery in Topsham.

Jeffrey Beers BArch (see page 8) Jonathan Lansberg PT and Heather Saunders 80 IL have married and reside in New York City.

A recent drawing by Alex O’Neal IL (Brooklyn, NY) was included in Day Job, an exhibition held earlier this winter at the Drawing Center in NYC.

1980 In January Mara Metcalf PT showed Arcadia: New Works on Paper at Moses Brown School’s Krause Gallery in Providence, where she lives. She teaches drawing at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Wendy Osborne Pierce SC (Gainesville, VA) exhibited work last fall in the third annual Artist Teacher Exhibition at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

1981 30th reunion October 14–16, 2011

For the past five years, Tim McWilliams IL (Roswell, GA)

has been showing large acrylic Pop-Pointillist paintings at some of the top art festivals in the country and around his home city of Chicago.

1979 Deborah Baronas TX

(Barrington, RI) exhibited The Warren Mill Project at various To submit updates for class notes, email

Peter Buchman 81 IL right: Peter showed works such as “Private” Keeper No. 4 (2010, acrylics on plastered wood, found items, resin, 14x16x2") in two recent exhibitions: the summer 2010 show Art On The Edge at The Vered Gallery, and the October show Fear at Ashawagh Hall. Both galleries are in his hometown of East Hampton, NY.



Doug Vitarelli 88 FA Doug recently completed, an engaging website for kids and other likeminded souls. The site follows the adventures of Olifant, the dinosaur shown here. He, like Doug, lives in NYC—more specifically in Central Park— and unlike Doug, spends his days picking berries, making pies, “hiding from Dr. Lenteo and making sure Rahaggio the warthog doesn’t cause too much trouble.” The longtime animator says he dreamed up the idea seven years ago when his son wanted to hear a story.

1984 Christopher Benson 84/05 PT

( runs The Fisher Press (thefisherpress. com), a small gallery and fine arts book press in Santa Fe. The press presented several of its limited editions at a January show in NYC. In September Karen Capobianco SC (New Paltz, NY) had a solo show entitled Reclaiming Order at Locust Grove Samuel Morse Historic Site in Poughkeepsie, NY. A small encaustic

collage from her new series Darwin’s Dreams was also included in the recent 5"x5" show at Unison Arts Center in New Paltz, NY.

thesis, which looked at personal memorial objects in the 21st century.” She completed her master’s degree in design criticism at SVA in May 2010.

installation of window boxes at the Providence Children’s

The Forbes House Museum in

Museum, Megan Jeffery IL

Milton, MA.

created a series of miniature

+ Planning in Cambridge, MA.


architectural practice known

25th reunion October 14–16, 2011 With help from Faceted Thought, LLC, Peter L. Brown IL recently launched his Coqui and the Red Convertible books app for the iPad on the iTunes App Store. Peter is based in New Milford, NJ. Peter Hewitt ID (see page 6)

For I Live in a Small Town, an

appointed executive director of

Last fall Dan Wood PR, who teaches in RISD’s Printmaking Department, showed new work at the AS220 Project Space Gallery in Providence, where he lives.

Angela Riechers IL (Brooklyn,

NY) was one of 25 recipients of AOL’s 25 for 25 grants. In fall 2010 AOL awarded $25,000 to 25 “innovators and thinkers” for projects ranging from photography to drawing to documentary film. Angela explains, “My interactive multimedia project Sites of Memory and Forgetting is based on my SVA

Robin M. Tagliaferri IL/MA 01

(Cranston, RI) has been

Nader Tehrani BArch (Boston)

was recently appointed head of the Department of Architecture at the MIT School of Architecture He also runs a successful as Office dA.

1987 Diane Hoffman IL and Allison

Paschke exhibited together

scenes featuring 36 handcrafted puppets and hundreds of detailed miniature objects she has made and collected over the years. The scenes were on view throughout the fall and into early February. Sara Jenkins PH (see

page 9) Peter Morse SC (see page 7)

in January and February at the


Chazan Gallery at Wheeler in

Andrew N. MacInnis ID

Providence, where Diane lives.

(South Weymouth, MA) is

She spent the month of Novem-

pleased to share the news that

ber as an artist in residence at

he and Diane C. O’Brien married

A.I.R. Studio in Paducah, KY.

on October 11, 2009.

Steven Kenny 84 IL The Year of the Chimera 6.2, a show featuring realist and surrealist paintings such as The Crux II (oil on linen, 22x60"), was on view earlier this winter at Glass Garage Fine Art Gallery in West Hollywood, CA. Steven (steven works out of his painting studio in Huntly, VA.

Kitchen + Studio = Foodio

Chace Center, 20 North Main Street Providence, RI 401 277-4949 | 50


The Greens by Christopher Raia 95 ID + Andrea Zatarain 96 JM (made from recycled wood and plastic | fully recyclable)

honor was announced at the annual INAwards held in Seattle in October.

Peter Maltbie 84 PH

documentary State of Control; in November he started working on the TNT television show Southland. Miklos and his wife Annie have two daughters, Ava Jane (7) and Lily Ann (5).


So Yoon Lym 89 PT This is among the “aerial view” paintings of hair and braid patterns So Yoon ( showed in Infinity: The Dreamtime, a solo exhibition that ran in February at Nancy Dryfoos Gallery in Union, NJ. This spring she’ll show the same series in Urban Patterns, which will be on view from April 6–28 at Manhattanville College’s Berger Gallery in Purchase, NY.

Several alumni were featured in

practice as a master of glass,

a special Design & Living section

starting from the confluence

in The New York Times Magazine

of design, science and art.

(11.7.10): Yvonne Force Villareal PT, co-founder of the

nonprofit Art Production Fund; furniture designer Paul Loebach 02 ID; and the design

that her company, Zest Books, has signed a sales and distribu-

trio Rich, Brilliant and Willing—

tion deal with Houghton Mifflin

which includes Theo Richard-

Harcourt. Zest Books is an

son 06 FD, Charles Brill 06 FD

award-winning and critically

and Alex Williams 06 FD.

acclaimed line of smart and

1989 Karen Gelardi PT (South

Portland, ME) is a member of The Group Formerly Known as Smockshop, an artist-run far right, top: photo by Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Hallie Warshaw GD (San

Francisco) is pleased to announce

enterprise that generates income for artists whose work is either non-commercial or not yet self-sustaining.

Norman Clayton GD informs us that after living in northern California for 20 years, he has moved his family and his letterpress shop, Classic Letterpress, to the beautiful small town of Ojai, CA.

1991 20th reunion October 14–16, 2011 Chris Eboch PH (chriseboch. com) won a 2010 New Mexico Book Award for The Knight in the Shadows (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster), the third novel in her Haunted series of books for young readers. Among the dozen other fiction and nonfiction

Peter sent in some gorgeous photos of his current stomping ground in South Africa, along with greetings from Capetown: “Love getting RISD eviews! Come visit! It’s now summer down here!” [Editor’s note: Sounds and looks enticing. Airfare, anyone?]

Colin Patrick McGreal FAV (NYC) and Samantha Marie Fennell were married on November 20, 2010 at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, NY. Mel Prest PT (San Francisco) exhibited work in Factor XX, a group show held in December at the Los Gatos [CA] Museum of Art. The exhibition was curated by Jenny Balisle and highlighted the work of 11 non-objective women artists in the Bay Area. Jason Rice PH (Toms River, NJ)

books for children and teens that she has written are The Well of Sacrifice, a Mayan adventure story, and the inspirational biographies Jesse Owens: Young Record Breaker and Milton Hershey: Young Chocolatier. “Though novel-writing may seem a far step from my studies in photography,” Chris writes from her home base in Albuquerque, “I credit RISD with giving me an intensive creative education, and also with teaching me to analyze and critique work—skills that are important for me as both a writer and a writing teacher.”

has a short story included in Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer (November 2010, W.W. Norton & Company).

Marcia Patmos 91 AP M.Patmos, Marcia’s new solo apparel design firm, was featured in the New York Times’ December 15, 2010 Fashion & Style section. The write-up also mentioned Rebecca Chamberlain AP, whose drawings Marcia cites as the inspiration for the collection.

Kyle C. Gaffney BArch, senior principal and co-founder of SkB Architects in Seattle, was selected as the 2010 IIDA Honor Award winner for the Northern Pacific Chapter. The

cutting-edge teen nonfiction titles that focus on the color and chaos of teen life. Miklos Wright FAV continues

to put his degree to use in Los Angeles, where he works as a motion picture editor. In 2010 he completed the feature film Dead Awake and edited the

Denise Dubuque-Lyn IL + Michael Lyn ID (see page 8)

In his new book, Josiah McElheny: A Space for an Island Universe, Macarthur Award-winning artist Josiah McElheny GL (Seattle)

questions the legacy of modernity from the standpoint of his

Margaret Pettee Olsen 86 PT The Occlusion series by Margaret (Broomfield, CO) was on view in November at the Studio Art and the Computer Gallery, which is part of the UCF Center for Emerging Media in Orlando, FL.

To submit updates for class notes, email



Yaniv Waisman FAV (Miami)

Chris Leathers 94 PT

writes: “Hello RISD. I read the

Chris and his company Kid Games Interactive (kidgames recently released its first app for the iPhone, Pre-School Counting 123s. Chris is based in Brooklyn.

magazine every time I get it and I love the new design. I want to share what I have been doing lately. I work with my production company doing infomercials, corporate videos and internet content. But on the side I have created a website where the Latin community around the world can share their short films. The site is and today it has almost 70 short films from different countries. It is a great community and every day we have more people sending me their Cortos. I invite the RISD community to visit the site and


share their comments with us.”

Sol Armada AP and

Christopher Longo were married in Edinburgh, Scotland. They now live in Los Angeles, where Sol has been working for Warner Bros Studios for the past three years as director of apparel. Urban Reflections, a solo show of paintings by Sonya Sklaroff PT, was featured last fall at Jenkins Johnson Gallery in Manhattan, where she lives.

1993 Jeffrey T. Dorn Jr. PT and Airi Maeno PR have married and

now live in Tacoma Park, MD. Anna (Wareham) Koon IL

(Jamaica Plain, MA) was commissioned to design a snowboard for the Portsmouth [NH] Museum of Art’s fall and winter exhibition SugiPOP! Anime, Manga, Comics and Their Influence on Contemporary Art. The snowboards (which were donated by Forum) will be auctioned off to support the museum.


Marnie Lieberman 93 SC Marnie has been farming organically in upstate New York since 2006 and recently created this 30x30" collage of images to help raise funds for building the new Namgyal Monastery in Ithaca.

1995 Nomi Dale Kleinman TX

married Daniel Cayer on August 1, 2010. The couple lives in Brooklyn, NY. Hester (Longley-Cook) Starnes TX is the lead textile

designer for Robin Hill Textiles in Atlanta. She and HuckleCurrents, a group show that ran from September to January at Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY. His installation A Perfect Home: The Bridge Project (2010) also ran from September through December at Storefront for Art and Architecture in NYC, where he lives. Jennifer Uhrhane PH (Jamaica

Plain, MA) guest curated Lucien Aigner: Photo/Story, an exhibition that continues through April 24 at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA. Aigner was a pioneering photographer in Europe in the 1920s and ’30s and a member of the early Leica camera generation.

berry Starnes 94 SC are

expecting a son in April; Huckleberry plans to leave his position as design manager at Winsted Technical Interiors after five years to stay at home full-time with the baby—a position he considers a definite step in the right direction. Cyrilla Suwarsa GD (see

page 6)

1996 15th reunion October 14–16, 2011 Carlos Celdran PT, an activist

in the Phillippines, appears on Forbes’ list of People You Need to Know in 2011. In the largely

Jason Amendolara IL (see

Catholic island nation, he is

page 10)

known for his outspoken opposi-

Joe McKendry IL (see page 8) Alan Pemstein BArch

(Worcester, MA) has joined HMFH Architects, a firm that focuses on the design of innovative learning environments. He is currently overseeing construction administration on the Hanover [MA] High School project. Sculpture work by Do Ho Suh PT was included in Beyond/In Western NY 2010: Alternating 52


Alice Kennedy 94 PT

tion to repression and intimidation

Liam Kennedy Gries, born on June 12, 2010, faces the world (or at least the camera) head on. Alice and her husband Scott Gries are raising Liam and their first son in Maplewood, NJ.

Stephanie Snider 92 SC right: Untitled (Set 2)(2010, oil on panel, 246x155x30 cm) was among the works Stephanie showed in an early fall solo show at Sassa Trülzsch Gallery in Berlin. From November to January other works were featured in Masked Passage, a solo show at Schmidt & Handrup Gallery in Köln. Stephanie ( lives and works in Brooklyn.

by the Church and for handing out contraceptives to the poor, among other acts of protest. Les Savy Fav, started 15 years ago at RISD by bass player Syd Butler FAV, vocalist Tim Harrington FAV, guitarist Seth Jabour IL, drummer Harrison Haynes PT and guitarist Andrew Reuland FAV, toured

Marc Cavello 96 FAV right: Marc ( has been a member of the Chelsea arts cooperative Pleaides Gallery since 2007, and in November and December had a solo show there called Inkboy. He also recently released his first major music CD release, I’M DISORIENTED. “I’ve been making albums since meeting wonderful musicians at RISD,” he writes. “Studying film and video I learned all about recording and sound equipment.” He wrote, performed and produced the CD and says that so far, the response “has been overwhelmingly positive.”

the UK in February promoting their fifth and latest album Root for Ruin, which was released last fall on French Kiss Records. Lee Leonard PT (Taos, NM) showed photography in the 2nd Annual Environmental Photography Exhibition, part of last fall’s Colorado Environmental Film Festival in Golden, CO.

Saints Day—through his company INNFUSION. He is also “pioneering the emerging field of motion comics with my company, M2 ( This is a hybrid medium between comics and animation,” Eben says, noting that M2 is the only company doing it in 3D.

Bo Joseph 92 PT A Lexicon of Persistent Absence: Disjuncture with Shrines (2010, acrylic and transfer on paper, 16x12") is among Bo’s recent paintings featured in a fall solo show at Froelick Gallery in Portland, OR. In December the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston purchased one of his large-scale drawings for its permanent collection. Bo (bojoseph. com) lives and works in NYC.

Ken Millington 96 IL Julie (Lappen) Abramson 94 IL Dan and Julie have been having a great time since welcoming baby Gloria Bea Abramson to the family on February 17, 2010. Gloria is shown here learning the challenges and rewards of becoming an accomplished fine artist along with her big sister Janet, who is 3. The family lives in Silver Springs, MD.

Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! (Little, Brown Books for

Deborah Tuch JM (see page 11)

Young Readers), a book written


and illustrated by Grace Lin IL

Robert Blackson SC has been

(West Somerville, MA), was cited

named director of exhibitions

by The New York Times as a

and public programs at The

Notable Children’s Book of 2010.

Tyler School of Art of Temple

The collection of short stories

University in Philadelphia.

below: Ken (Brooklyn, NY) wrote to share news of a recent project: a large-scale public mural in Geneva, NY titled Seneca 634 (genevamural. He painted the piece in acrylics and used the grid system and freehand for enlargement to the finished size of three stories by 80'. The mural “presents local and national history in a way unique to the location,” Ken explains.

for young readers was also named a Booklist Editor’s Choice,

Eben Matthews IL is

a Kirkus Best Children’s Book,

producing the Boondock Saints

a Publishers Weekly’s Best Book

comic series—based on the cult

and a recommended holiday gift

films The Boondock Saints and

by the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Boondock Saints II: All


Scott Conary 93 IL

In the following excerpts from his blog, Scott Conary muses about the connections between painting and taste, and why he’s drawn to painting meat. Colors linger on the palette from painting to painting. The right one is cinnamon or salt, the cornerstone ingredient in a great recipe. Some days, it’s a particular blue—a blend of pthalo and cobalt. Others it’s a murky gray—umber, ultramarine and cadmium orange. Painting meat is a little less conventional than depicting a flower or pepper and I find it much more interesting. My glib answer to “Why meat?” is: “You can only paint so many pears.” But the real answer is that a piece of meat can be stunning and intriguing.

We have a much more complicated reaction to a slab of lamb than to a perfect pear. After all, we are meat ourselves. We’ve built cultures around the animal as part of the family meal. But no matter that history, no matter how intricate the shapes and colors of the bone, muscle, fat and gristle, we are keenly aware that it is part of a once living thing. It’s raw, unclean, primal. And yet it’s beautiful, desirable.

Conary’s meat series includes the recent oil on canvas paintings shown here: Rib Chop (7x9"), Glowing Chop (6x5") and Arrowhead (8x8").

Scott Conary: Fresh Cuts continues through March 24 at Susan Maasch Fine Arts in Portland, ME. Another solo show, Scott Conary: Meat, just closed on February 26 at Nisus Gallery in Portland, OR. For more on Scott’s work, go to



“over one of our most precious resources—water,” he explains. It looks at the contentious issues involved and how can they be resolved before the waters run dry.

1999 The Lodge, an illustration

Brian Martin 98 IL + Amy (Paulin) Martin 98 IL

created collaboratively by Kelly

Brian and Amy are thrilled to announce the birth of their first child, Elliott Joseph, who was born on October 13, 2010. In other good news, an interview with Brian accompanies the presentation of his recent oil paintings in Blue Canvas Magazine (issue #7). The family lives in Seekonk, MA.

the kids’ horror book Haunted

Murphy IL and spouse Antoine Revoy 99 FAV (Providence) for

Houses (Are You Scared Yet?) (2010, Henry Holt and Co.), was selected for web publication in the 29th annual American Illustration competition.

2000 Matt Cottam BID (Providence

and The Netherlands) currently


leads the European operations of Tellart (, a

Rhett Turner PH (Atlanta)

Providence-based interdisciplin-

produced a documentary for Georgia Public Broadcasting entitled Chattahoochee: From Water War to Water Vision. The hour-long film, which aired in October, describes the bitter 20-year old struggle between Alabama, Florida and Georgia

ary design company. He enjoyed a recent opportunity to work with Google in London on a fun project for their YouTube

Will Harney 01 IL above: Will (Newburyport, MA; has self-published his first illustrated book, a retelling of the cyclical Eastern folktale The Stonecutter. He was drawn to the story by one of its key messages—“Always be proud of who you are”—and decided to put a more positive spin on the traditional tale in his retelling. Will created the watercolor and gouache illustrations over the course of five years; since March 2010, The Stonecutter has made its way into local bookstores in New England and Will reports that he has met many wonderful and talented people through author visits and library events.

Symphony Orchestra. Dawn Danby ID (dawndanby.

com) is continuing her focus on

Jason Adams 00 IL Jason ( was commissioned to do this portrait of 1986 US Olympic handball player and Auburn University multi-sport standout Reita Clanton to celebrate her May 2010 induction into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. The portrait is hanging in the Hall of Fame in Birmingham for a year and will then be released to Ms. Clanton’s collection. Jason is based in Auburn, AL.

sustainable design at Autodesk, where she recently worked with Drew Beam 99 IL and Eric Smith 94 GD in creating a spirited set of sustainable design education videos. “We didn’t know we were all RISD grads until the first day of the shoot,” says the San Francisco-based designer. You can watch the videos at abilityworkshop. Carter Mull PT was named by Angeleno magazine (12.6.10) as one of five “new garde” emerging artists to watch. Reviewer Paul Young noted the “tactile, painterly feel” of his “stunning photographic works.”

Work by Sara Greenberger Rafferty PH (Brooklyn, NY) and Whitney Bedford 98 PT (Santa Monica, CA) is included in Houdini: Art and Magic, an exhibit on view through March 27 at The Jewish Museum in New York. Erica Saladino GD (see page 6)

2001 10th reunion October 14–16, 2011 Inverted Harmony: A Handmade Environment by Jenine Bressner— her first solo show—is on view 54


through March 13 at the Houston [TX] Center for Contemporary Craft. The show includes chandeliers of flame-worked glass and laser-cut textile plant forms, one meant to look like glass rain, and other new works by Jenine Bressner GL (Providence). In October she demonstrated glass torch-work on the Martha Stewart Show.

Jeremy Davis 98 ID

Chandler O’Leary 03 IL

Jeremy lived to tell the tale of finishing his third (!) Ironman triathlon last August—Ironman Canada in Penticton, BC. He completed the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run in 12 hours and 57 minutes. The accomplished triathlete is based in NYC.

Last fall Chandler (Tacoma, WA) debuted her new artist book in Local Conditions, a solo exhibition at the University of Puget Sound’s Collins Memorial Library in Tacoma, WA, where she lives. The interactive book captures the changing faces of Mt. Rainier.

Last fall Misako Inaoka IL (San Francisco) exhibited sculptural work in the solo show Guided Growth at Johansson Projects in Oakland, CA.

Karen Azarnia 99 IL + Michael Cain 99 IL


Karen and Michael were married on July 24, 2010 at the Newberry Library in Chicago, IL. The newlyweds live and work in Chicago.

the ADC Gallery in New York City and published in a limitededition volume by Moleskine. In December Lili Maya GD/ MFA 05 DM (Baltimore, MD; and James Rouvelle exhibited their installation traversal53 inside the former Donnell library, across the street from MoMA in New York. Marissa Nadler IL/MAT 04

In October Caroline Adams

Just a few of our favorite class-

Saenger PR exhibited a series

mates. Where are the rest of you?”

of oil paintings at Thos. Moser in Washington, DC, where she lives.

2003 Mark Barrow PT and his wife,


Sarah Parke 04 TX (NYC),

Jessica Frelinghuysen PR

are currently collaborating on

(Hamtramck, MI) exhibited

producing work: he makes

a collection of sights and sounds

paintings on her hand-woven

entitled In Your Neighborhood

fabric. Their recent exhibition at

in November and December

the Elizabeth Dee Gallery in NYC

at the Public Pool Gallery in

was reviewed in the New York

Hamtramck, MI.

Times (10.1.10).

Last October landscapes by Erik

Christopher Butler FAV

Leighton Koeppel IL (Jersey

(Chapel Hill, NC) sends word

City, NJ) were exhibited at the

that he is on the 2011 REBRAND

Jackson [NH] Historical Society,

Awards jury. He was interviewed

alongside 19th-century paintings

as part of the pre-award

by artists of the White Mountain

promotion; you can find the

School of Art.

interview at He was also invited to contribute to

Tana Martin GD (Miami),

Print magazine’s Imprint blog.

creative principal at RMC,

Christopher notes: “The material

recently won the bid to redesign

on the blog is very relevant

(Needham, MA; marissanadler. com) writes: “I want to inform other young artists of the tradition of musicians coming out of RISD, and I thought the alumni community would be interested to see what I have been up to. I have used a lot of the tools I learned at RISD to create an independent music career spanning four full-length records that have been released worldwide, are available in stores and are widely listened to online. Most recently, three songs were used in an ABC pilot airing on national television. I have

current majors

Haavard Homstvedt 00 IL Ripple Sole, a solo show of work including this piece by Haavard, was featured last fall at the annarumma gallery in Naples, Italy. The artist is based in NYC.

been in Art Forum, the International Herald Tribune, the Boston Globe, the New York Times, Pitchfork, Stereogum, etc. etc. My first concerts were actually at RISD, in a little room upstairs from the mailroom, as well as in the little coffee shop on the corner and the now defunct Custom House Tavern. Since overcoming most of my stage fright, I have been touring the world performing as well as contributing vocals to many other bands, and utilizing my RISD career to design my own cover art, t-shirts, and other merchandise.”

Matthias Pliessnig 03 FD In December the arts advocacy foundation United States Artists awarded Matthias an unrestricted $50,000 grant in support of his ongoing work in furniture and sculpture. Fellow RISD grad Natalia Almada MFA 01 PH (see page 61) was also among the 52 individual artists and collaboratives nationwide selected to receive 2010 USA Fellowships on the basis of the “impact and caliber” of their work. Matthias, who frequently teaches in RISD’s Furniture Design Department, has also been named a Knight Fellow, an honor that includes an additional $5,000 grant to create a community engagement event in his home city, Philadelphia.


Apparel Design






Digital + Media


Film/Animation/ Video


Furniture Design


Graphic Design




Interior Architecture


Industrial Design




Jewelry + Metalsmithing











former majors AD

Advertising Design


Art + Design Education


Landscape Architecture


Machine Design


Textile Chemistry


Textile Engineering

FIfth-year bachelor’s degrees BArch Architecture BGD

Graphic Design


Industrial Design


Interior Architecture


Landscape Architecture

master’s degrees MA

Art Education (formerly MAE)

MArch Architecture MAT



Fine Arts


Industrial Design


Interior Architecture

MLA Landscape Architecture

the website for the University

to practicing RISD alumni and

of Miami’s School of Business.

students looking forward to


careers in interactive design.”


Continuing Education Certificate

Four alumni were among the


enrolled for Foundation Studies only

Jay Salvas GD writes via the

RISD Alumni Online Community: “Bosco (Juan B. Hernandez

50 winners in Young Guns 8,

Basulto GD) and I are living

the Art Directors Club’s 2010

in San Francisco—happy in Oz,

international competition for

as we say. We are delighted to

creative professionals in their

have guests this month:

20s: Michael Freimuth GD,

Amanda Poray GD (San

Joe Marianek GD, Nikolay

Francisco), Diana Weissman

Saveliev 07 GD and Jessica

GD (Cambridge, MA), and

Walsh 08 GD. The winners’ work

Candice Brooks GD (Boston).

was showcased in October at

To submit updates for class notes, email

* attended RISD, but no degree awarded



Kim Sikora 07 PH

Sami Arthur GL and other

A photograph by Kim (San Francisco) was included in Juried@BAC, a summer 2010 exhibition at the Berkeley [CA] Art Center. She teaches at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and has started a photography blog called Photo Homework at

friends of Justin Yuen IL have formed Journey for Justin, (, a fundraising and support group to help Justin pay for the expensive treatments needed for his very rare form of cancer. A benefit art auction held in December at Salt Space in New York featured the

Regina Mamou PH (Bloom-

field Hills, MI) showed work in The Utopian Airport Lounge, a group exhibition at Makan Art Space in Amman, Jordan. The December 2010 show highlighted public art projects in the city of Amman.

work of Robin Williams IL,

Melissa Meyer IL (see page 64)

Emily Bernath PT and many

New works by Casey

other artists.

Neumann PR (Waipahuu, HI), Jacqueline Rush Lee and Madeleine Söder were exhibited from July to October 2010 at The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, HI. The three artists create complex mixed-media works that incorporate various thread-based techniques such as embroidery, knitting and crocheting.

Lady Gaga wore a long, slinky black dress designed by Sally LaPointe AP (NYC) to the

Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, which she

Emily Snedden CR recently

attended in order to unveil new

married Kyle A. Yates and lives in Philadelphia.

on with Polaroid.

Last summer Eric Telfort IL had an exhibition entitled When I Was Six at the Bulawayo Art Gallery in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, where he now lives.

a global competition hosted by BBC World News, Newsweek and Shell Oil Company to find projects that show “enterprise and innovation at a grassroots level.” The Isla Urbana team developed a rainwater collection and filtering system to ease the water shortage in Mexico City.

products she has collaborated

Enrique Lomnitz ID (NYC)

and his team Isla Urbana were selected as one of 12 finalists in the 2010 World Challenge,

Rich Pellegrino IL (Warwick, RI) shares news of a few exhibitions in October 2010:

2006 Three greeting cards by Jennifer

2003 continued In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, Jennifer Rolfsema GD (Pawtucket, RI) exhibited multicultural portraits and local landscapes last fall at the Johnson & Wales University Intercultural Center in Providence.

2004 Lisa (Plantenga) Berry PH + John Berry IL (see page 36) Ethan Hayes-Chute PT

(Freeport, ME) has exhibited his work throughout North America and Europe and is one of four Maine artists selected by the Maine Arts Commission to receive 2011 Individual Artist Fellowships. Hermitage, his installation for the 2009 Portland Museum of Art Biennial, entailed the construction of a two-story building in the museum’s central lobby. Emilie Lee IL (

participated in Alpine Styles: Climbing and Mountaineering Art Exhibition, a group show held last fall at the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum in Golden, CO. She is a senior Hudson River Fellow and is based in NYC. 56


Adler CEC (Providence) are

Last summer Sean Thomas IL (Providence) exhibited new paintings at the Rice Polak Gallery in Provincetown, MA.


being sold at Target though a licensing partnership with Recycled Paper Greetings. The three cards are part of RPG’s new line of woman-to-woman birthday cards.

Bryce W. Bounds BArch

(Savannah, GA) sent in the news that he is married to Sonia R. Carias-Samayoa Bounds. Becky Fong GD (see page 36) Richard J. Goldstein PT

(Brooklyn, NY) curated Neo-Vitruvian: The Body Now, an exhibition that ran at the Hal Bromm Gallery in Tribeca, NYC from September to November 2010.

Katherine Elizabeth Dalene BArch 03 Katherine and Aaron Matthew Weil were married on September 18, 2010 at the Old Whalers Church in Sag Harbor, NY, with Reverend William Grimbol presiding. Aaron holds BA and Master of Architecture degrees from the University of Virginia. The couple met at Bates Masi + Architects in Sag Harbor, where they both continue to work.

Send us your XYZ info!

Tell us what you’re up to and we’ll share your news with the RISD community.

Here are some of the ways you can contribute to your magazine:

upcoming deadlines:

1/ submit updates (professional and personal) to class notes email (subject line: class notes)

April 1 for Spring/Summer 2011 (due out in June)

2/ send us your responses to the content of each issue email (subject line: feedback) 3/ submit exhibition information for current + upcoming shows email (subject line: exhibitions)

September 1 for Fall 2011 (due out in October) To submit information via post, write to: RISD XYZ, Two College Street, Providence, RI 02903 To speak to the editor: call Liisa at 401 454-6349

a two-person show at Harbor One Credit Union in Mansfield, MA, a solo show at Peace Love Studios in Providence and a group exhibition at The Space Gallery in San Francisco. Benjamin Reynaert BArch

(Brooklyn NY) writes that he is the Van Lier/Stein Fellow at The Center for Book Arts in NYC, where he is pursuing advanced studies in book arts. Sam Sharpe FAV wrote and

directed The Fantastic Magnifico, a film about an American who was inspired to join the infantry during World War I. He worked on the film with Stephanie Dufford*, whom he met at RISD when they were both students; she earned a 2010 Emerging Cinematographer Award from the Directors Guild of America for her work on the film. Sam freelances from his home base in Madison, WI. Beth Slocum GD (Island

Heights, NJ) has opened Woodhaus Studio (woodhaus, a full-service boutique design firm specializing in branding, print, web, pack-

aging and illustration. The studio also produces a line of handmade wooden bowls, “burned in with elaborate patterns” and available on

2007 A Polaroid photo taken by Erin Danna IL (Providence) was used on the RISD by Design blog to illustrate the “Roman Celebrations” (anniversary of EHP) getaway. BooBoo Kills Yogi, a short video created by Edmund Earle FAV as a spoof of the Yogi Bear animated film released last fall, went viral within days of its release on YouTube, attracting more than 3 million viewers in less than a week. The video was mentioned on blogs run by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Wired and many more outlets. The Westport Arts Advisory Committee recently selected Connor Murphy FAV (Playa Vista, CA) to receive the 2010 Horizon Award for Visual Arts. After studying studio-scale animation at RISD, Connor interned on Corpse Bride, Brotherhood and Underdog before becoming a motion editor at Giant Studios in Los Angeles. He worked applying captured human motion to film characters on Mummy3, The Incredible Hulk and Prince Caspian and then moved on to camera assistant for director James Cameron on Avatar. Connor is currently working on director Shawn Levy’s Real Steel, a Rocky-style story about robot boxing in the future. Kate S. Sanders-Fleming PT

(Cambridge, MA) is teaching Spanish classes (“Learn Spanish Through the Arts!”) to kids at the Alliance Française in Providence.

2008 R.K. Projects hosted its second exhibition in a pop-up gallery at Conley’s Wharf in Providence. The November 2010 show featured paintings, drawings, sculpture and installations by Colin Bliss SC, Joseph Buzzell 06 PR and Alex Griffith 09 PT, who are all

Ani Ardzivian 10 GD In September Ani’s work was featured on the MSNBC program TODAY Money, in the segment “Is it time for American paper money to get a new look?” She’s building on her senior thesis work for The Dollar ReDe$ign Project, a grassroots movement to update US paper currency. Ani submitted a design that focuses on America’s social history, featuring images of Amelia Earhart, Martin Luther King, Jr., naturalist John Muir and astronaut Neil Armstrong. “Our currency is a symbol of our country and as a country we’ve come so far,” she says. “I tried to think about why people risk their lives to come here and start a new life. It’s not because of our presidents but because of our freedoms and rights.”

based in Providence. Elizabeth Grammaticas PT

(Boston) organized and participated in the group show 9.02.10: Teen TV Residue, on view last September and October at The Distillery Gallery in South Boston, MA.

2009 As a web designer/illustrator at Google, Jennifer Hom IL is part of a small team responsible for posting Google Doodles—topical illustrations—on the Google home search page. Among her recent contributions are Doodles commemorating the birthday of Mahatma Ghandi (10.2.09) and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (1.18.10). In December her Doodling work was noted in a Wall Street Journal article (12.24.10).

Animation Festival, with RISD winning Honorable Mention in the 2010 Best Animation School Showreel category. RISD’s school showreel featured films by Heather Kahn FAV, Dylan Ladds 11 FAV, Kenneth Onulak 11 FAV, Jonathan Seligson FAV, Kim Weiner FAV, Ted Wiggin 11 FAV and Caleb Wood 11 FAV. Line + Relation, an exhibition featuring the artwork of Charlie Thornton BArch (New Bedford, MA) and his father, John Thornton, was recently on display at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. The exhibition highlighted the reciprocal relationship between the two artists’ work over an extended period of time.

Louie Rigano ID (see page 10) Miriam Zisook ID (Providence)

is a new member of Business Innovation Factory’s design research team. She will be working with BIF Design Director Christine Costello on a variety of projects and leading fieldwork for projects in the BIF Student Experience Lab.

2011 Karen Kavett GD created the first user-designed logo for YouTube, which appeared on Halloween 2010. She also regularly posts videos to her YouTube channel about how and why someone might want to study design and how to survive a RISD crit.

In December Gabriela Salazar PT presented a site-specific instal-

Ben Bronstein 09 IL Ben ( recently completed a commission to illustrate a series of beer bottle labels for Skeller Brewery, a micro-brewery based in Providence (where he lives). He has also been producing a lot of illustrations for The Wall Street Journal, PLANSPONSOR and PLANADVISOR. To submit updates for class notes, email

lation as part of flatbreadaffair and took part in an Artist’s Fete Dinner inspired by her work. The event took place in her Brooklyn studio/home.

2010 Films by RISD Film/Animation/ Video majors stood out at last fall’s Ottawa International

Tim Belonax 04 GD Tim (Newhall, CA) designed and printed these pillowcases for the RISD NorCal alumni club (we showed them in the Spring 2010 issue of XYZ—being tossed around at the Valentine’s Day Pillow Fight in San Francisco). Since then HOW magazine selected them for inclusion in its fall 2010 annual.



Think ahead. RISD’s rigorous blend of studio and crit-based learning gives students the creative skills they need in the 21st century. Help ensure that the creative leaders of the future get the best education possible. Even if you can’t afford to give much to RISD now, you can make a huge difference by planning ahead. Here are a few of the many options worth considering:

> Make a gift that literally costs you nothing now yet helps generations of art and design students in the future.

Contact Louise Olson at 401 454-6323 or email for more options and information.

> Donate your house or vacation property, keep using it and get a tax break all at the same time.

> Get a tax deduction and a quarterly paycheck for life in return for your gift.


Paul Arthur LaViolette, Jr.

Edith Hatch Budlong 33 AE

of Lehigh Acres, FL and North Scituate, RI on March 3, 2008.

Anna Tefft Siok 46 TX of

Raymond Johnson 38 TX

Beverley Palmer 48 TX of

of East Providence, RI on November 20, 2010.

Philadelphia, PA on January 14, 2010.

Henry F. Erikson 39 MD

Gordon Miles Fraize 49 IL of

of Ellis, KS on May 16, 2008.

Hereford, AZ on August 28, 2009.

Catherine Walcott Hill 43 PT/

MAE 64 of New York, NY on December 23, 2010. Caroline Fishkin 44 AP

of East Longmeadow, MA in August 2010. 58


Brooklyn, NY on June 3, 2010.

Mary C. Purcell 49 IL of Glenville, NY on March 22, 2010. Alfred E. Hammer 50 PT of Hartford, CT on October 14, 2009. Al was Dean of Students at RISD in the 1960s.

51 MD of Charlottesville, VA on July 9, 2010. Barbara Warner Maslen 51 LA

of Yarmouthport, MA on April 8, 2010. Raymond A. Tondreau 51 MD

of Vista, CA on November 21, 2010. Robert P. Keating BArch 53 of

Woodbury, CT on September 19, 2010. Carol Bourne Skelly 56 LA

of Old Saybrook, CT on September 4, 2010.

Jeanne (Matheson) Black-

Richard Tipton BArch 69 of Taos, NM on January 13, 2011.

wood 57 IA of Santa Ysabel, CA on September 20, 2010.

Carol J. Pentleton Robinson

John Williams 62 IA of Tucson,

AZ in August 2010. Phil Carroll 64 IL of Ross, CA

on September 26, 2010.

74 GD of Chepachet, RI on February 2, 2011. Martha Anderson Colvin

MAE 81 of West Brighton, MA on September 3, 2009.

David W. Pilbrow 64 GD/MFA 66 PH of Indianapolis, IN on October 9, 2010.

Robert Seydel MFA 90 PH of Amherst, MA on January 27, 2011.

Ronald O. Wilczek 64 SC

of Kansas City, MO on December 29, 2010.

of Bristol, RI in January 2011.

Andrew L. Lanphier 02 IL

Graduate Class Notes



John Young MFA SC (Seattle)

In January Minnesota’s governor, Mark Dayton, appointed Sheila Wright MAE to a cabinet-level position as the new director of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. She had been serving as dean of Hamline University’s School of Education and began her career as a public schoolteacher in North Carolina. In accepting the post, Wright noted that “creativity, ingenuity and innovation are needed right now” in order to make higher education more accessible, affordable and responsive to the needs of college students in Minnesota.

recently let us know that he is the host and writer of a new PBS TV show called You Call That Art?! (, which premiered on November 22, with KCTS Channel 9 Seattle as the host station. Geared towards the general public, the show aims to demystify public art. “Our hope is that it will become a national series encompassing 19 US cities,” John says. “Maybe some of our alumni will be interested in tuning in.”

1982 Anne Pundyk MFA PT (NYC)

participated in The Art of Captivity, Part One, a fall 2010

Martin Mull 65 PT/MFA 67 PT War and Peace (2010, oil on linen, 30x42") was among the new paintings featured in Witness, a solo show on view in November and December at Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago. In this latest body of work, Martin presents slightly twisted figurative vignettes drawn from his memories of childhood. “There was a whole America that I grew up in [in the 1950s and ’60s] that has kind of taken a hike,” the artist/actor explained in a TV interview on Chicago Tonight. “The world has changed in so many ways, and this country has changed in so many ways, I feel compelled to lay down this madness that I was raised in—the idea of suburban America as this kind of pictureperfect thing. Of course, it wasn’t. It wasn’t all Ozzie and Harriet.”

1963 Vermont Landscapes, a solo show of recent paintings by Martha Armstrong MAE, was on view in November at the Bowery Gallery in New York. Martha lives in Hatfield, MA.

1966 Last fall Geoffrey B. Piece MAE (Lincoln, MA) had a show of watercolors at the Congregational Church of Weston in Weston, CT.

1968 Seattle-based glass artist Dale Chihuly MFA CR was featured as a Daily Dose pick in October. “Arguably the greatest artist in the history of glass sculpture,” blogger Paul Laster wrote, Dale

has “helped turn the craft of blowing glass into an exhilarating art form.”

1975 The October 1 conference Why Design Now? Solving Global Challenges, presented by the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in NYC in conjunction with its triennial exhibition, featured Rob Schwartz MID as a panelist and Boback Firoozbakht MIA 11 as a student

presenter. Rob is general manager of global design at GE Healthcare; Boback is an advocate for sustainable design and a participant in the annual Clinton Global Initiative University (see Spring 2010 issue of RISD XYZ).

To submit updates for class notes, email

1977 Pat Dingle MAT (Bowie, MD)

is the Art Department Chair at Kenmoor Middle School in Prince George’s County, MD. Last summer she studied African

exhibition of work by seven contemporary artists at Fordham University’s Center Gallery at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. Drawing upon her recent experience with cancer, Anne

American Political History at

translated ontological ideas

the HistoryMakers NEH Institute

about illness and stigma into

in Chicago; she also studied

paint. She followed the sensations

at the Newark [NJ] Museum

of the body as they are paired

as part of the NEH Picturing

with moments of recognition,

America Collaborative

memory and understanding.

Various alumni Chris Van Allsburg MFA 75 SC and Mary Jane Begin 85 IL were guest panelists at RISD’s November screening of Library of the Early Mind, a new documentary film about the art and impact of children’s literature (a still from the title sequence is shown below). They are among the 40 prominent author/ illustrators interviewed in the film. Other RISD alumni featured in the documentary are Jarrett Krosoczka 99 IL, Brian Selznick 88 IL and Grace Lin 96 IL.

Conference. In December, Pat won a DOTTY AWARD for Best Children’s Programming with the Bowie Community Media Corporation, a local cable television company. Her program Talking with Imani features her six-year-old grandniece, Imani Patrice, who began starring in and co-hosting the program when she was four. In October Pat launched the first annual Loretha B. Dingle Memorial Scholarship dinner in memory of her late mother. Administered by Howard University, the scholarship will help eligible African-American working women in the Washington metropolitan area to meet the costs of a college education. WINTER 2011


David T. Hanson MFA 83 PH left: David’s new book Colstrip, Montana (2010, Taverner Press) collects 87 photographs he took in the early 1980s as a study of one of the largest coal strip mines in the country; individual images from the Colstrip series have been widely exhibited, but the entire sequence had only rarely been seen prior to the publication of this book. David lives in Fairfield, IA.

1988 Joy Mishkin MFA PH (Arcadia,

CA) and Bill Gemberling were married on August 2, 2010 in the Victorian Chapel in Las Vegas, NV.

1993 Yasmina Bouziane MFA PH

(NYC) is working for the UN as a spokesperson and deputy chief

1996 New works by Milisa Galazzi MA are included in Tactile Expressions, a three-person show that runs

from March 29 through April 22 at Moses Brown School’s Krause Gallery in Providence. Milisa lives in nearby Cranston, RI.

Mary Kocol MFA 87 PH Lemon Tree Above the Pool, Los Angeles (2007, inkjet print from film negative, 23x34") and Apples, October (2009, inkjet print from film negative, 23x23") were among Mary’s large-scale photos included in the fall group show Bon Appetit, A Visual Treat at the Concord [MA] Art Association. She also had a September solo show at Gallery NAGA in Boston and recently wrote an essay on The Garden in Early Art Photography for Gardens Illustrated, “a fancy British garden magazine.” Mary is based in Somerville, MA.

of the Public Information Office for the United Nations Mission in Liberia. Previously she had been working in Lebanon.

1994 Recent work by Susan Brearey MFA PT/PR was included in the two-month-long fall faculty exhibition at The Putney [VT] School, where she teaches.


George and Johanne only knew each other in passing while they were students at RISD, but they both ended up in Italy after graduating. George taught at RISD’s European Honors Program in Rome, and Johanne worked at a small restaurant outside Florence while continuing her studies in photography. Serendipitously, they both found their true calling in food—and through it, they found each other. “The taste [of authentic Italian food] was something that really knocked me over the head,” George remembers. Back in Providence, the two met again and fell in love in 1975 when they were working as cooks at a downtown restaurant. Over the next few years, they shared the dream of opening a restaurant, which they did on a shoestring in 1980. “For us, Al Forno is simply an art project that keeps evolving,” Johanne says. “The kitchen is our studio, and the food we cook is like a canvas that is continually being repainted, changed and refined.”

far left: photo by Terace Green | middle: photo by Lexi Dantzig

You could visit or even live in Providence for years and never notice Al Forno, the world-class restaurant tucked behind a former factory at the bottom end of South Main Street. But in the culinary world and among those in the know, the restaurant looms large. Chef/owners George Germon and Johanne Killeen have earned nearly every honor imaginable for their creative, northern Italian-inspired cuisine—including Best Chef in the Northeast from the James Beard Foundation, the Insegna del Ristorante Italiano by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and of Foreign Trade and World’s Best Restaurant for casual dining from the International Herald Tribune, among literally dozens of other accolades.

George Germon MFA 69 CR + Johanne Killeen 71 PH



For more on RISD’s most famous culinary couple, go to

1999 Last fall Audra Wolowiec MFA SC (Long Island City, NY) and Alee Peoples SC 10 (Providence) were artists in residence at the Wassaic Project, an artists’ collective in Wassaic, NY started by several RISD alumni.

2000 José Fernando VázquezPérez MID (San Juan, PR) was an invited speaker at the 2010 national convention of the American Institute of Architects in Miami, where he co-lectured on Design for the New Decade: A Next Generation Look at Design and Architecture. Last July he received an international Red Dot Award for The Spíritree; the project was also a finalist in the Good Design Awards in Japan and the Designpreis Deutschland in Germany. José Fernando originally conceived The Spíritree as part of his Memento Mori thesis project at RISD, and later patented and developed it as a commercial product. It has been featured in Taschen’s Design for the Sustainable Era by Dalcacio da Gama Reis and was included, along with more of his work, in the second Ibero-American Design Biennial held last fall in Madrid. Since 2000 José Fernando has been

a partner in URBANA:Arquitectura/Diseño, an architecture and design firm he runs in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he lives. He and Rafael Castro-Montes de Oca recently earned an AIA Award for their design of Galería AirMaster and a CEMEX Award for the San Pablo house in San Juan.

2001 Cynthia Farnell MFA PH (Conway, SC) has been appointed director of The Welch Gallery at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

a personal portrait of the controversial Mexican president Plutarco Elias Calles, which earned her the 2009 Sundance Documentary Directing Award; and Al otro lado/To the Other Side (2005), about a Mexican composer forced to choose between drug trafficking and emigrating illegally to the US.

2002 E.D. Taylor MFA PR conceived and performed in These Walls were Built by Slaves, a work

Trevor Lee MLA 02 above left + center: While working at OLIN in Philadelphia, Trevor served as project designer and manager for the Potomac Park Levee on the National Mall in Washington, DC, which is now under construction. above right: Trevor also designed and managed the new Yale Forestry School landscape project (2009) through OLIN. He is now a design fellow at the Syracuse [NY] School of Architecture.

of performance art and ancestor veneration highlighting the ongoing issue of slavery worldwide. For the “politically motivated endurance art” (as described by critic Eleanor

Heartney), she and actor Anna Register “continually built and dismantled a stone wall in a nasty room deep in the understructure” of a structure in Cleveland, where she lives.

In December Natalia Almada MFA PH won a $50,000 grant from United States Artists to support of her ongoing work in film. She was among 52 individual artists and collaboratives nationwide selected to receive 2010 USA Fellowships on the basis of the “impact and caliber” of their work. Through Altamura Films, her independent production company in Brooklyn and Mexico City, Natalia has made such films as El Jardin (currently in post-production), which looks at the drug war in Mexico; El General (2009),

Susan Skoczen MFA 02 JM Susan curated the fall 2010 jewelry/metals show Topography of Metal for Gallery M/Tap Studios in Cleveland, and showed her own work in the September group show Commingling at the William Busta Gallery, also in Cleveland. In her new position as lecturer of fine arts and art gallery director at Indiana University/Kokomo, she’s teaching art classes and plans to start a jewelry/metals program and studio. In 2009 Susan’s parents hosted her backyard wedding to Freeland Southard.

To submit updates for class notes, email overnight shipments available on request 30 North Main Street | Providence, RI 02903 Questions? Contact or 401 454-6464 find us on Facebook + Twitter



Yong Joo Kim MFA 09 JM left: Providence-based jewelry artist Yong Joo has been awarded a Professional Arts Development Grant from the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts. The grant will support the cost of photographing her latest work, updating her website and publishing marketing materials.

Lin Zhang MFA DM (zhanglin- and her husband Feng Jiangzhou directed a digital media performance for the opening ceremony of the 2010 China Sailing Cup regatta. They live in Beijing.

2012 Jeffrey Peña MArch is one

of four artists who keep Curbs and Stoops (curbsandstoops. com), an artistic think-tank he founded, up and running. Committed to “democratizing”

Charlotte Potter MFA 10 GL

2004 During the annual 5 Dutch Days, a November celebration of the ongoing influence of Dutch culture in New York City, the Trespa Design Centre hosted Still Life, an exhibition uniting the jewelry and furniture designs of Alissia Melka-Teichroew MID (, a native of the Netherlands, and portraits of them made Lisa Klappe, an artist in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

incubator made of car parts and designed for use in the developing world (see Fall 2010 RISD XYZ)—as one of its “50 Best Inventions of 2010” (11.11.10). Tom Weis MID, Mike Hahn ID, Adam Geremia MID 07, Emily Rothschild MID and Huy Vu MFA 09 GD worked with Design that Matters and the Center for Integration of Medicine & Innovative Technology on various stages of the project.



TIME magazine selected the NeoNurture Incubator—an infant

page 10/11)

Brendan Ravenhill MID (see

2010 Jaewoo Kang MIA (New

Rochelle, NY) has married Hyo Jung Lee. Lindsay Kinkade MFA GD, Erika Tarte MFA 11 GD, Beth Weaver MFA 12 GD (see

page 8/9) Work by Jonggeon Lee MFA SC is on view through March 6 in the 2010 Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Queens. Robert Williams MArch and Nina Emery were married on June 6, 2009. Robert recently began a new position as a member of the Business Innovation Factory’s design research team in Providence, where he lives.

Jesse Burke MFA 05 PH left: Pieces from Blind, a new body of work by Jesse (jesseburke. com), were on view from November to January at Flanders Gallery in Raleigh, NC. He also showed photographs of the homeless in if on a winter’s night, a December exhibition at Platform Gallery in Seattle. Jesse teaches at RISD and lives in Rumford, RI.



Charlotte (Waitsfield, VT) collaborated with Adrien Broom, a photographer taking RISD CE classes, on the Wonder Series, a body of work that includes images shot in the Nature Lab. The work was shown recently at Diane Birdsall Gallery in Old Lyme, CT and in April will be featured in a show in Brooklyn.

Jeff Barnett-Winsby MFA 06 PH Jeff ( has published Mark West & Molly Rose (May 2010, J&L Books), a photographic account of his correspondence with convicted murderer John Maynard and the social worker who helped him escape from prison in 2006. He works out of his studio in NYC.

accessibility to art and design beyond museums and galleries, Curbs and Stoops backs public art and interactive projects, limited edition prints, progressive residency programs, pop-up exhibitions and guerilla art projects and installations. Ashley Zelinskie 10 GL is also actively involved and Michael Yoder MFA 02 PT is a contributing writer.

Culinary Capers New things are always cooking on campus, but most build on traditions—including culinary ones—that have defined RISD’s character for decades. In the heyday of the Culinary Arts Program, a two-year full-time course of study, chef Al Falk (who also oversaw the RISD Refectory) taught students to create delectable dishes. In the late 1940s, students dined in Memorial Hall (right) and many of the males (look at all of them!) wore suits. The fun and food-filled alumni clambakes at Frances Farm

images courtesy of the RISD Archives

in Rehoboth, MA were popular in the 1950s and ’60s.




Melissa Meyer 06 IL



I have been drawing beets a lot. I look forward to beet season every year, but this year I’m obsessed. If I put a pen in my hand, chances are I’ll draw a beet. There’s something so magical about these little secret jewels growing in the

dirt. Maybe I’ll move on to drawing asparagus and tomatoes in the spring and summer, but for now it’s beets—all the time, on my plate and on little scraps of paper scattered all over my studio.

Please submit a page from your own sketchbook (showing anything that’s on your mind). Our favorite will appear in the next issue. Questions? Email

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Rhode Island School of Design Two College Street Providence, RI 02903 USA

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RISD Alumni Art Sales make everyone happy Whether you’re buying or selling, the three annual Providence events are vibrant, fun and rewarding. If you’re new to the marketplace thing, they offer a great opportunity to dip your toes into the entrepreneurial waters, test out your wares and get friendly feedback from shoppers—about pricing, presentation and other practicalities. The sales are, in fact, so popular that demand for space often exceeds capacity. So here’s how it works: Alumni Relations emails application information* and the deadline for each upcoming sale. If more applications come in than the venue can accommodate, a lottery system is used to determine who participates. * we don’t send these by post, only email

For more information about participating, go to or email 2011 Providence Sale Dates Proceeds from admissions fees support the RISD Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, which is now benefiting seven current students.

Alumni Spring Art Sale Saturday, April 30 10 am – 4pm Benefit Street (between Waterman + Hopkins) Alumni + Student Fall Art Sale Saturday, October 15 10 am – 4pm Benefit Street (between Waterman + Hopkins) Alumni Holiday Art Sale Saturday, December 3 10 am – 4pm Rhode Island Convention Center

RISD XYZ Winter 2011  

Rhode Island School of Design alumni magazine

RISD XYZ Winter 2011  

Rhode Island School of Design alumni magazine