Feminine Mystique: Nails, Baking + Beauty Queens

If you have been checking out our curated page on Kickstarter recently, you may have noticed a few projects that wander into the territory of the traditionally feminine. In true RISD fashion, the four alums working on these three projects tackle their subjects in entirely new ways.

Kickstarter + Nails!

The aptly named (and now fully funded) Nails in the Key of Life will beautify your digits AND bring you into the wonderful world of experiential art. Using a canned ham trailer as a mobile nail salon, Breanne Trammell MFA 08 PR plans to “create an intimate platform to exchange ideas and conversation.” All this, and a letter pressed certificate of authenticity to commemorate the experience. And fear not, in addition to holding an MFA she is a licensed nail technician. 

Sweet & Bitters Quarterly is the brainchild of Hannah Kirshner 06 PT, a self-described “baker, bartender and farmgirl turned Brooklynite.”  Addressing mainly cocktails and sweets with a smattering of “everyday foods,” the seasonal printed quarterly will focus on local (while still affordable) foodstuffs and approachable yet interesting recipes, all buttoned up in a beautifully designed novella sized package, with lots of photo spreads to satiate multiple appetites. She has enlisted the sizable talents of Isaac Gertman MFA 06 GD, a principal at Paperwhite Studio in Manhattan, to ensure that the design is as tasty as the recipes. Pledge $145 and you can even get a box of cookies.

Fiona Gardner 99 PT has been garnering some press attention, most recently from Etsy and the Huffington Post, for her Meet Miss Subways project. Between 1941 and 1976 the New York Subways advertising committee crowned more than 200 women – and adorned subway cars throughout the city with their photos, along with their aspirations, jobs and hobbies. The advertising gambit was well ahead of its time, featuring a diverse array of women from different classes, races and educational backgrounds long before it was widespread practice to celebrate – or even advertise – such things. In their book and upcoming show at the New York Transit Museum, Fiona and journalist Amy Zimmer will examine not just issues of aging and life in the wake of the extraordinary advertising campaign, but also the social history of the contest, including changing women’s roles, civil rights and even the subway system itself.

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