In June 2022, POD's founder and long-time director, Dr. Paul Sproll retired from the Rhode Island School of Design after thirty-two years. To celebrate his retirement and honor his legacy, POD + TLAD hosted an exhibition of POD alumni work at RISD’s Woods Gerry Gallery. Both POD and TLAD alumni, and other members of the RISD and local communities, gathered together to recognize Dr. Sproll and the profound impact and influence he has had at RISD. 26 Project Open Door alumni exhibited examples of their recent creative work and shared reflections on what Project Open Door and Dr. Sproll have meant to them over the years.
The Department of Teaching + Learning in Art+ Design and Project Open Door (POD) welcome you to our exhibition in honor of Dr. Paul Sproll's retirement after thirty-two incredible years with the Rhode Island School of Design (RISO). We invite you to celebrate Dr. Sproll's influence over the years while viewing the creative work of Project Open Door alumni.
Dr. Sproll founded Project Open Door in 2005 when a small group of teens found their way to the basement of a RISO building seeking artistic instruction and a creative outlet. Since then, under the dedicated and passionate leadership of Dr. Sprott, POD has grown significantly and continues to provide free, quality art and design programming to public high school students in Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls, and Woonsocket. As the founder and director of Project Open Door, Dr. Sproll has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to equity of access to high-quality visual arts learning opportunities for creative teens attending Rhode Island public high schools.
For the past three decades, Dr. Sproll has guided the TLAD department, directing two graduate degree programs (Master of Arts in Art and Design Education and Master of Arts in Teaching) and mentoring future art educators. Though on the cusp of new adventures, Dr. Sproll remains dedicated to progressive practices in art and design teaching and learning and holds a passion for community-based practices at the intersection of formal and informal art and design education for teens. His work spans time and space, evident in this exhibition, and we are grateful for his creative vision.
The reflections and artwork from POD alumni displayed in this exhibition only begin to illustrate the immense impact and influence that Dr. Sproll has had on POD and the art and design education community in Rhode Island.