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With Commencement right around the corner, RISD’s graduating master’s degree students worked overtime to complete their thesis projects and get their work ready for public scrutiny at Grad Show 2021. Like last year, their creations will be on view virtually via an online platform maintained by the RISD Museum, but current students and faculty members with access to campus (those in the spring 2021 COVID testing pool) can also experience elements of the show in person at the RISD Museum’s Chace Center galleries and at the WaterFire Arts Center.

Director of Campus Exhibitions Mark Moscone 88 PR describes the preparations for the show as “organized chaos” and notes that it’s interesting to see how the work lives in such vastly different physical spaces: the classic, windowless white galleries of the Chace Center versus the huge, naturally lit industrial space of the WaterFire Arts Center.

“Thesis work is always very personal and individual,” Moscone says. “We selected key pieces to anchor each space and also thought carefully about how to divide the work between the two galleries. In one area, we grouped together work by the Furniture Design, Textiles and Jewelry + Metalsmithing departments, for example. Their surfaces and 3D structures create an interesting dialogue.”


Gradute Thesis Exhibition, Chace Center, Waterfire Arts Center, poster


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