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For college students, RISD hosts a night at the museum

For many college students, museums conjure images of family outings or rainy days. For few do they bring to mind wild nights out. But "RISD Museum After Dark: College Night" is geared especially toward college students, intended to introduce them to all the museum has to offer.

The event, tonight from 6 to 10:30 p.m., will bring together student performers from the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown to create a night of mixed art forms, including visual art, music and spoken word poetry. Local food will be served throughout the night, and several events will take place simultaneously, allowing museum-goers to enjoy a variety of performances.

The exhibit boasts do-it-yourself artwork, RISD student musicians, a gallery talk by Hollis Mickey '10 GS about the museum's Lynda Benglis exhibit, a screening of RISD student shorts and a discussion about the moon by artist Tristin Lowe and Professor of Geological Sciences Carle Pieters. Project V.O.I.C.E., a spoken-word group composed of Sarah Kay '10 and Phil Kaye '10, will perform for the first time in Providence since they graduated.

Deborah Clemons, assistant educator of public programs at the RISD Museum, said the night's mixture of art forms occurs naturally in their galleries.

"I think for us, being in the gallery spaces and offering different art forms is something that we do quite regularly, so that's our first instinct," Clemons said.  

Clemons said the auditory, visual and tactile components of the evening will fit together nicely.

"It's good to have as many senses as possible being engaged," she added.

Clemons and Mickey, who worked as an intern at the museum this summer, designed the event for college students to showcase their work and appreciate one another's talents, though all are welcome. Mickey sees college students and teenagers as  demographics "overlooked" by museums , she said. Since the event is free, Mickey and Clemons said they hope to attract students who have never been inside the museum before.

Though the museum is open until 9 p.m. once a month, this event is the first of its kind organized for college students at night, according to Clemons.

Information was given to nearly all colleges in Rhode Island and several in Massachusetts, and Clemons said the event can accommodate hundreds of students.

Kaye urged students to visit the museum tonight, if only for a few minutes. "What a wonderful moment to have all these avenues, all these forms of art in this space a 10-minute walk away from you," he said.

According to Mickey, "it's a nice diversion from the Rock."

The RISD Museum entrances are located at 20 N. Main St. and 224 Benefit St. For a full schedule of events, visit www.risdmuseum.org.




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