Visiting alum Jane Kim 03 PR spent today on the RISD Beach putting the finishing touches on Put a Bird On It, a public art installation that encourages participants to learn more about the native bird species that make intricate homes right in our backyards.
Tomorrow (Saturday) the California-based artist will facilitate a workshop that encourages alumni, RISD parents and families visiting campus for RISD by Design weekend to paint eggs and playfully explore a large “bird house.” The installation will also include large portraits of Rhode Island bird species.
“I’m hoping the audience comes away [from the installation] with an awareness of their surroundings,” notes Kim. “Hopefully that inspires them to build a nurturing relationship with the environment.”
(For those who watch the comedic sketch series Portlandia, the exhibition’s name was inspired by a recent episode that pokes fun at the rising popularity of absurd bird art.)
Amanda Thackray MFA 12 PR will soon be spending her summer solstice suited up in a cold weather gear. The RISD alum is among a small crew of artists and scientists chosen to participate in a two-week residency program that takes place on Barquentine tall ship bound for the Arctic Circle.
“I am extremely excited to be a part of this voyage,” notes Thackray. “I’m intrigued by the Arctic’s landscape.”
While aboard the wooden vessel, the printmaker anticipates that the ship’s nautical line will deeply inspire her sketches. “I will learn to tie knots with traditional rope and my own paper rope. These structures will form the foundations of my still life drawings.”
To help fund the icy expedition that departs in June, the printmaker launched a Kickstarter campaign to partially fund her flight to Longyearbyen, Norway. Donors will receive tokens of Thackray’s appreciation in the form of graphite drawings inspired by the ship’s rigging.
“Your thoughtful contributions to this project will help to further my research and allow me explore the Arctic through collaborative artistic experimentation,” writes Thackray. “I can’t wait to embark on this journey.”
Huma Bhabha 85 PR could hardly dream of a better response to Unnatural Histories, her current solo show at MoMA PS1, than this ecstatic summary in The New Yorker:
A stunning abundance of recent sculpture and works on paper by the Pakistani-born virtuoso. Who would have thought that today’s strongest sculptor would advance forms of pedestalled figures with heart-wrenching, humanistic content? For all their slangy use of Styrofoam, wire mesh, crumpled drainpipes, bones, and other detritus – along with the more traditional wood, plaster, and bronze – Bhabha’s creations convincingly resuscitate several sorts of lapsed tradition, both primitive and classical. She’s our hip-hop-era Giacometti.
In its own rave review (called Huma Bhabha Does Rodin Meets Mad Max), The Village Voice calls Bhabha’s sculpture “a rare species of mesmerizing bravura 3D art.”
And New York Times critic Karen Rosenberg notes that the juxtaposition of the materials she uses is “arresting,” with the overall effect of the show being to “bookend the history of figurative sculpture, from ancient fertility icons to what could be the last vestiges of the human race.”
In this post from polich tallix foundry, you can find out more about Bhabha’s process for producing her lost-wax cast pieces – some weighing as much as 1,100 lbs.
Unnatural Histories continues at MOMA PS1 through April 1.
Wesleyan University’s Davison Art Center in Middletown, CT is featuring a series of amazing copper-plate engravings by Professor Andrew Raftery, master of the insanely exacting art form. The entire process is so involved that it took more than six years to plan for and execute the Open House series now at Wesleyan.
Andrew Raftery: Open House, which is accompanied by a catalogue explaining his process,continues through December 9 at Wesleyan’s main gallery.