On Thursday night, the public was welcome to wander through the wondrous maze of art found in RISD’s graduate studios. Some of the student spaces appeared to be caverns stockpiled with materials including swaths of neon paper, canvas, drawing instruments and polyethylene fibers. Others were sparsely decorated with only a handful of powerful photographs.

Many of the visitors were attracted to the studio of Jesse Kaminsky MFA 14 SC. The sculptor is in the process of fashioning a series of large-scale installations out of Tyvek. After the pieces are sewn shut, Kaminsky will puff them up with air. The collection is inspired by the creatures who live in the deep sea. “This looks a lot like a squid,” Kaminsky explained while gesturing toward his work. “When I started, I didn’t anticipate that these pieces would look like tentacles.”

Elsewhere in the studios, Doreen Gardner MFA 14 GL is working on a series of mixed media pieces that are inspired by skin abnormalities and growths. She plastered photos of dermatological diseases across her walls. “These conditions aren’t gross to me,” said Gardner. “The patterns are really organic.”

And visitors also discovered innovative inventions. For instance, Jason Rabie MFA 14 DM rigged a typewriter to send text messages. So far, he’s only wired the keys A through K to his laptop which sends the message through a digital application. “It’s a work in progress,” he explained in his studio. “Sadly, I can’t text the word zebra.”

Rob McKirdie MFA 14 SC made use of a discarded sewing machine table to anchor a revolving wheel decorated with glass grenades. The song Heaven’s Artillery plays softly as the mechanism moves. “It invokes the feeling of a carnival ride,” he explained. “Only my piece is more ominous than most circus acts.”

Click on the photos above to get a virtual tour of RISD’s graduate studios!

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