NetWorks RI | RISD Alumni Profiles
NetWorks Rhode Island, a visual arts project, was initiated in 2008 by Rhode Island arts sponsor and collector Joseph A. Chazan, M.D. Conceived with Umberto Crenca, artistic director of the alternative arts center AS220 in Providence, Rhode Island, NetWorks Rhode Island proposed to document, celebrate, and foster the richly creative and diverse professional visual arts community in contemporary Rhode Island through profiles of individual artists and their work. Seventeen profiles were produced that first year.
During each subsequent year through 2016, additional profiles were produced, eventually forming an archive of 113 video and photographic profiles supplemented by museum and gallery exhibits, printed catalogues and panel discussions. Each fall, RI PBS broadcasted the newly released profiles and has frequently re-broadcasted profiles from previous years, providing broad access to the content.
About the project, executive producer Joseph A. Chazan, M.D. says,”we all benefit from the presence of gifted and skilled working artists as creative catalysts in our midst,” adding “the NetWorks Rhode Island project celebrates the significance of what Rhode Island artists do as they toil daily, usually in a solitary way, seeking excellence as they strive to create.”
NetWorks Rhode Island and WaterFire Providence have partnered to ensure continued open access to this richly inspiring content. Videos produced/Directed/Filmed by Providence video artist and RISD alum Richard Goulis FAV 84.
This collection presents NetWorks RI RISD alumni profiles. Visit networksrhodeisland.org to view all artist profiles.
Jillian Barber and Richard Goulis
Jillian Barber, originally from England, grew up in Westerly, Rhode Island. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design where she studied ceramics with Norm Schulman and glass with Dale Chihuly. Barber has had a career in ceramic sculpture, mask making and costume design. She brings a passion for portraiture to her mythical and imaginary animals and figures, attending to form, texture, light and fantasy. She combines a deep reverence for nature with the realms of dreams, imagination, and archetype. Barber was costume and mask designer/maker for the Chorus of Westerly Celebration of Twelfth Night for 30 years. She received a RISCA Fellowship, numerous Katherine Forest Craft Foundation awards for excellence in ceramics and had a retrospective at the Newport Art Museum where her work is in the collection. Barber shows her work at Jessica Hagen Fine Art & Design and Charlestown Gallery. She lives and works in Jamestown.
Peter Diepenbrock and Richard Goulis
After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1984, with two degrees in Industrial Design, Peter Diepenbrock launched his sculptural career. He simultaneously supported his studio, producing limited edition furnishings and tabletop functional objects. While designing for his private label TROY, as well as Dansk and Umbra, Diepenbrock’s sculpture continued to develop. His practice shifted to full-time commissions in 2002, with the completion of his first significant one, the 9/11 Memorial for the Rhode Island State House. Subsequent site-specific and public art projects followed, including private and corporate installations. ‘The Practice of Spatial Reasoning’ is how he describes his process which “blends the concept development of industrial design, a deep concern for high craft, an interest in space, place, and site, a sculptor’s sense of form, a poet’s use of visual metaphor, and an engineer’s grasp of structure.” Originally from Sacramento, Diepenbrock lives and works in Jamestown.
David Frazer and Richard Goulis
In 1978 David Frazer began teaching at the Rhode Island School of Design, and he is still there in 2016, as head of the painting department. Frazer received his BFA from RISD in 1970, and as a participant in the European Honors Program, he traveled in Italy and The Netherlands, becoming influenced by the painting techniques of Giotto and Piero della Francesca. He later became the chief critic of the RISD/Rome program, the first alumnus to do so. Frazer obtained an MA in painting from the University of New Mexico. Collage and abstract expressionist painting inform his aesthetic and structural process; although his paintings allude to printing or transfer techniques, they do not use them. His work is primarily abstract and improvisational and plays with symbolic images. Frazer’s paintings have been exhibited nationally and internationally, including in South Korea and China, where he has also been a visiting artist and lecturer.
Paul Housberg and Richard Goulis
Paul Housberg creates site-specific works in glass for corporate, hospitality, healthcare and public environments. He says, “my work explores the juxtaposition of order and randomness, as well as the natural human tendency to seek pattern in chaos, our persistent desire to find meaning in disorder. I’m inspired by the ordinary, yet strangely beautiful, phenomenon of degradation—weathered paint on shingles, peeling billboards, rusted metal siding—ordered objects altered by the haphazard effects of nature and time.” Born in New York City, Housberg studied painting early in his career, but was drawn to glass for its atmospheric color. After receiving his BFA and MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, he studied in England with Patrick Reyntiens, a pioneer in contemporary stained glass. Later, as a Fulbright Scholar, Housberg pursued his art at the International Center of Glass Research (CIRVA) in Marseille, France.
Gretchen Dow Simpson
Gretchen Dow Simpson and Richard Goulis
A native New Englander who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, Gretchen Dow Simpson spent many years living in New York City, where she completed over 65 covers for The New Yorker magazine. In 1985, an exhibition at the Newport Art Museum brought her back to the area, and she moved to Providence’s East Side. Simpson considers herself a “painter with a photographer’s eye,” and architectural forms have always drawn her. Simpson has shown her work at the Virginia Lynch Gallery in RI and the Mary Ryan Gallery in NYC and numerous other venues. She recently painted a mural on Route 95 for the Governor’s Highway Beautification Project. She has been the recipient of a Pell award and an honorary doctorate from Bryant University.
Jesse Burke and Richard Goulis
Jesse Burke is a New England native and currently lives in Rhode Island with his wife and their three girls—Clover, Poppy, and Honey. He received his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, where he is a faculty member, and his BFA from the University of Arizona. Burke’s work deals with themes related to vulnerability and identity, as well as humans’ complicated relationship with nature. His monograph, Intertidal, was published by Decode Books in 2008. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in the United States and abroad, including The Haggerty Museum, the Perth Center for Photography, and the Tucson Museum of Art, and is held in many private and public collections, among them the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the RISD Museum.
John Dunnigan and Richard Goulis
John Dunnigan is a designer, maker, and educator. A native of Providence, Dunnigan is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island, with an MFA in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. His work involves a range of contexts, materials, and processes, but it is driven by a consistent interest in things as an expression of the interdependent relationships among culture, technology, and identity. In his more recent work, he is motivated by the pursuit of what he calls “Practical Solutions to Oblique Problems.” Dunnigan’s furniture has been shown in over one hundred exhibitions, including ten solo exhibitions, and is included in collections such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the National Museum of American Art. He is a partner in DEZCO furniture design llc, a company dedicated to sustainable practices in design for mass production. Dunnigan is a professor and Chair of the Department of Furniture Design at RISD.
Michael Glancy and Richard Goulis
Extraordinary and elegant in quality and beauty, Michael Glancy’s sculptures reveal the artist’s exacting struggle towards perfection. Drawing inspiration from natural macro- and micro-environments, Glancy translates cellular landscapes into elegant jewel-toned sculptural objects. Made with blown and plate glass, copper, bronze, silver, and gold, his works reference science, biology, molecular physics, and mathematics. A native of Detroit, Glancy received a BFA from the University of Denver, a second BFA in sculpture, and an MFA in glass from the Rhode Island School of Design, where he studied with Dale Chihuly. He is a member of the adjunct faculty in the Jewelry and Metalsmithing Department at RISD and has taught at Pilchuck Glass School in Washington. Glancy’s career has included exhibitions in New York City and Switzerland and his work is in major museums and collections.
Irene Lawrence and Richard Goulis
Irene Lawrence is a painter, printmaker, and maker of books as well as a musician who studies the cello and the viola da gamba. Born in California, she grew up on Long Island and came to Providence, where she lives, to attend the Rhode Island School of Design. Lawrence’s work is characterized by an integration of rhythmic strokes using monochromatic colors and has been influenced both by music and writing. Her printmaking, enhanced by concentrated study at the Crown Point Press in San Francisco, has pushed her to total abstraction in all her work. Lawrence is a member of American Abstract Artists, New York, and has exhibited in the United States and Europe, including locally at the David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University, and RISD.
Paula Martesian and Richard Goulis
“Painting for me is neither a magical channeling of creative forces, nor a juggling act of conceptual ideas. It is, instead, a highly personal experimentation involving elements of color, space, and line balanced with emotional experience. To that end, I have been a student of painting for over forty years.” A native Rhode Islander and graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Paula Martiesian also studied extensively with her mentor Gordon Peers, head of the European Honors Program at RISD. She is, and has been, an integral part of Providence’s creative community. She was the editor and co-publisher of Quix Art Quarterly, then a co-founder and board chair of Gallery Night Providence, and remains the curator for the BankRI Galleries. Martiesian has exhibited extensively around Rhode Island and is active as an awardwinning advocate for the arts and artists—both emerging and established.
Alan Metnick and Richard Goulis
Alan Metnick was born in Chicago and came of age in the 1960s. Shaken by the political turmoil of the era, he earned a BA in history at the University of Wisconsin. Determined to forge a meaningful life as an artist, Metnick first embraced photography, creating sensitive and strong work under the guidance of photographer Harry Callahan at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he received an MFA. Characteristically, he discovered printmaking while making protest posters for the Vietnam War, Kent State, and Cambodia, under RISD instructor Art Wood. Since then Metnick has created a body of work (photography, serigraphy, drawing, and stained glass) that reflects his many talents and interests in “the historical, biblical, and personal.” Metnick has managed a silkscreen business and gallery, published books and portfolios, and exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions in Rhode Island and Poland, among other venues.
Rosanne Somerson and Richard Goulis
Rosanne Somerson, president at the Rhode Island School of Design 2015-21, came to the institution as a freshman photography major but quickly discovered the joys and challenges of woodworking and furniture design. Studying with Tage Frid, she received a BFA in Industrial Design in 1976, eventually teaching in the program and helping to found the world-renowned furniture design department at RISD. Somerson’s studio work covers a broad range, from very personal pieces to commissions for museums, corporations, and individuals. She views furniture in relation to the interactive needs of people, from utilitarian and emotional perspectives. Her furniture is in the collections of the Smithsonian, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Smith College Museum, The Huntsville Museum, and the RISD Museum, among others. Somerson has lectured and exhibited throughout the globe, and has won numerous awards for her work.
Andrew Moon Bain
Andrew Moon Bain and Richard Goulis
A multi-faceted artist and musician, Andrew Moon Bain was born in 1974 in Texas and grew up in the Pacific Northwest, playing classical music in the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra. Since receiving a BFA in sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design, Bain has become an active part of the Providence arts community as an exhibiting artist, songwriter, musician and producer. He also is the co-founder and head designer of Urban Social Empowerment, which focuses on branding social marketing concepts for Rhode Island youth.
Kate Blacklock and Richard Goulis
Kate Blacklock’s early love of ceramics came from her viewing of the Pre-Columbian pottery at New York’s Museum of Natural History where her mother worked. Blacklock received her BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an MFA in ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design. In her studio art, Blacklock has moved from sculptural ceramics to painting to photography, currently creating illusionary still lifes using a flatbed scanner. She has often worked in series and has shown her work nationally. Blacklock currently is adjunct faculty at RISD; she has taught ceramics at many different venues and was an associate professor of art at Louisiana State University for nine years.
Brian Chippendale and Richard Goulis
Born in 1973, Brian Chippendale grew up around the Philadelphia area. His entry into the Providence art and music scene came after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in printmaking in the early 1990s. He began to make posters and comics and was one of four founders of Fort Thunder, a warehouse space in an old textile factory in Olneyville, that was a center for underground art and music from 1995 until 2001. Chippendale is well known as the drummer/vocalist for the noise rock band Lightning Bolt that has performed internationally and released five albums. Chippendale has produced the poster art for Lightning Bolt as well as art comic books including Ninja, Maggots and If’n Oof.
Richard Fishman and Richard Goulis
Richard Fishman grew up in Roxbury, Massachusetts and attended Boston University before transferring to the Rhode Island School of Design for his BFA. In New Orleans, at Tulane University, he earned an MFA. In 1965, Fishman began teaching at Brown University where he has contributed to the remarkable growth in the institution’s arts departments. His vision is evident in the new Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, where the focus on collaborative creativity linking the arts with science, technology, and the humanities is helping to redefine art practice in higher education. Though primarily a sculptor, Fishman works in different mediums, and has exhibited his work nationally and internationally. He is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Bunny Harvey and Richard Goulis
Born in 1946, Bunny Harvey came to the Rhode Island School of Design where she obtained a BFA, MFA and MAT. In 1974, she won the Rome Prize in Painting from the American Academy in Rome. She soon launched herself on a series of career successes, including many solo exhibitions, thirty years of exclusive gallery representation in New York City, and a long teaching career at Wellesley College. Today, Harvey’s work has evolved from concerns with “the archaeology of lost civilizations and the fragile and durable surfaces of the past” to the multi-layered, changing aspects of landscape around her Vermont studio. Harvey recently had a solo exhibition at the Newport Art Museum.
Shawn Kenney and Richard Goulis
Shawn Kenney, born in Connecticut, grew up in Washington state and the Mid-Atlantic states before returning to New England to attend the Rhode Island School of Design. He has remained in the area, earning a living as an art director, designer and illustrator. Today he paints food and farms, producing luscious looking still lifes that convey his love for fine food and connections with the local culinary community, as well as scenes of farm life that invoke a comforting nostalgia. Kenney exhibits regionally and co-founded “Will Paint for Food,” an organization that supports hunger relief through sales of his paintings.
Scott Lapham and Richard Goulis
Scott Lapham was born in Massachusetts in 1968 and came to Providence to attend the Rhode Island School of Design. His photographic series have explored neighborhoods, people and cultural trends that are often perceived to have little social worth. Within these communities, he looks to find emotional value, historic relevance and an appreciation for lives being lived in places often ignored. He has applied these same observations to the coastline where he creates “sculptural snapshots” from the flotsam and jetsam that accumulate on the ocean’s shore. Lapham’s art educational work includes running AS220’s youth photography program, mentoring underserved youth in the Rhode Island Training School and in the wider Providence youth community.
Meg Little and Richard Goulis
Meg Little successfully combines function with fine art in her handtufted rugs with designs inspired by ancient petroglyphs as well as modern art. Little received her BFA from Tyler School of Art and an MAE from the Rhode Island School of Design. She taught at Plymouth College of Art and Design in England for several years before beginning to make rugs. Little has exhibited extensively in Rhode Island as well as in national venues including the Fuller Craft Museum, American Craft Museum, Smithsonian Craft Show, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. She has been an elected juror of the American Craft Council, a juror of Crafts at the Castle, Boston, and has taught at the Penland School of Crafts, as well as at the Newport Art Museum where she recently had a solo exhibition.
Janet Prip and Richard Goulis
Janet Prip, the daughter of Danish master metalsmith John Prip, was born in 1950 in New York. By the time her father was concluding his teaching career at the Rhode Island School of Design, she enrolled as a student, lucky enough to study with her father for four years. Prip began her career as a jewelry maker but transitioned into making sculptural yet functional objects. She has enjoyed nature-based creating with found objects and stones. Today she is moving into a pure sculptural mode and contemplating large outdoor pieces.
Esther Solondz and Richard Goulis
Esther Solondz grew up in New Jersey, receiving a BA from Clark University in 1975 and an MFA in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1980. She also pursued graduate work in film at New York University. Solondz’ artistic life has been an evolution through many different materials. Beginning with photography and film, she moved to painting and then sculpture and installations. Over the last twelve years Solondz has gravitated to an exploration of the transformative processes that simple materials such as salt and rust undergo. She has taught at RISD and exhibited extensively throughout New England.
Erminio Pinque and Richard Goulis
Erminio Pinque is the founder and artistic director of BIG NAZO, an international performance group and creature-making studio in Providence. Originally from New York, he has lived in Providence since receiving his BFA in illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design, where he now teaches a course in creature creation.
Ben Anderson and Richard Goulis
Ben Anderson, born in 1960, has a BFA in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. He is an assistant professor at the University of Rhode Island and works from his studio in Warren.
Astrid and Richard Goulis
Astrid, an American artist born in Havana, Cuba, has a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and an MFA from Hunter College; she works from her studio at AS220 in Providence.