Rhode Island School of Design’s Senior Show 2020 Now On View

Graduating seniors now living in various locations around the world came together virtually for what may be their final collective project: the RISD Senior Show 2020. Featuring the work of more than 300 students in 16 undergraduate majors, the exhibition offers a sense of some of the issues and inspirations on graduating students’ minds this year.

In developing their final projects, many graduating students focused on identity, exploring their cultural roots and often questioning accepted global narratives. Apparel Design major Kyra Buenviaje 20 AP, for example, created a recycled denim collection called Juana that “represents the spirit of the hard worker and dreamer in every Filipino… and evokes the deep love I have for the country I so proudly come from.”
Glass major Jorge Palacios 20 GL uses his creative practice to investigate his Mexican roots as well as “the meanings and interactions between land, displacement, ghosts/hauntings, science fiction, embodied memory, decolonization, indigeneity and diaspora.”

Painter Julieta Beltran Lazo 20 PT describes herself as “an artist who revises and reimagines history. Through making—embroidering, painting, drawing and writing—I examine my relationship to the celebrations and grievances that accompany Mexico’s recent history… challenging the heroic narratives and nationalist perspective through which official history is told.”

Other artists and designers are inspired by science and the natural world. Animator and augmented reality artist Meredith Binnette 20 FAV, for example, is interested in merging the worlds of art, technology, science and philosophy “using generative and procedural techniques to emulate organically grown forms in a digital space.”

Ceramist Jasper Isaac Johns 20 CR pushes the still life genre with botanical motifs he first encountered as a child visiting Nichols Arboretum in his hometown of Ann Arbor, MI. “Subtle glazes on bowed, undulating and kaleidoscopic forms evoke the intangibility of music and simulate a watery depth,” he writes.

The stark, otherworldly Death Valley National Park, which straddles California and Nevada, inspired textiles artist Kelly Hughes 20 TX to create Death Valley Monolith (Jacquard weaving, wool, cotton, monofilament), while sculptor Palmer Smith 20 SC—whose carved onyx calcite Sea Specimen flawlessly mimics nature—developed his creative process to recreate fleeting moments in time and “reshape something as ephemeral as getting to the top of a mountain.”

See more work by other graduates of the Class of 2020 at RISD Senior Show 2020.

Media Contacts: Christina Allan