Department Head: Kevin Zucker
Painting at RISD prepares students to engage in an individual search for meaning and cultural representation through the development of strong visual skills, keen critical reasoning abilities and an understanding of broad historical and social contexts. Professors encourage both the freedom and discipline essential to this process by embracing a wide range of aesthetic attitudes and offering flexible programs, along with a place where ideas rooted in the tradition of painting are openly examined and exchanged, challenged and refined.
Throughout the program, the conceptual and expressive aspects of painting remain central as students build on their skills through intense technical training and concentrated hands-on effort.
“Passion and respect for the painting tradition and the discourse that informs it are central to our mission in this department. But we also take a more expansive approach, embracing the non-medium-specific, the time-based and other interdisciplinary techniques and methodologies practiced in today’s art world.” - David Frazer, former Department Head