Kindred presents a sampling of the art and design work of the eighty-three RISD students who identify as being of African descent. Ethnic affiliations include Black, African-American, African American European, Haitian, Trinidadian-Puerto-Rican, Jamaican-Japanese, Caribbean-Filipino, Guinean-American, Nigerian-American, and Swedish-Udandan. Students hail from the following departments: Apparel Design, Film/Animation/Video, Furniture Design, Glass, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, Painting, Photography, and Printmaking. The assembled graduate, undergraduate, and alumni students work in and outside their formal disciplines to highlight. the complexities of race, identity politics, gender stereotypes, homosexuality, religious freedom, Afro-futurism and the connections between nature, physical objects and the human condition.
Throughout the process of engaging artists and selecting work, the curators conducted studio visits and interviews to gain a greater understanding of how race and identity informed and inspired their creative process. Some artists addressed the marginalization felt when race was at the forefront of their work and the cultural implications of privileging race as it could impact their reach to a wider audience.
The exhibition serves as a vehicle through which students of African descent can develop a kinship with each other and provide the support and critical dialogue needed to advance their work. Kindred celebrates the intersections where all members of the RISD Community converge as this is a "kindred" space.