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Brown/RISD dual degree students explore time, memory in annual exhibit

Responding to theme “Many Years Later,” students exhibit diverse array of work

The 12th annual Brown/RISD Dual Degree Exhibition welcomed the public Thursday night with a lively opening reception at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts.

Students in the Dual Degree Program were invited to submit work that responded to the theme “Many Years Later.” Their pieces spoke to concepts of time, memory, routine and change using a diverse array of media, from sculpture to stop-motion animation.

At the reception, members of the Brown and Rhode Island School of Design communities viewed works spread out across four floors of the Granoff Center to the tune of live music.

The artists confronted the theme on both global and personal scales. A sculpture by Kate Reed ’21 titled “What would our Moon say to Earth” consists of a metallic moon spitting out a receipt from its mouth, on which algorithmically-generated poems based on pre-composed stanzas are printed. The poems imagine how the moon might respond to a changing Earth, afflicted by rising temperatures and human devastation. Nearby sits a multicolored woven chair by Laura Jaramillo ’20, fashioned from pieces of old clothing she stripped from her closet every day for a month. In an accompanying statement, Jaramillo writes that she sees “a younger version of (herself)” in the chair.

The Dual Degree Program, launched in 2008, allows students to earn a degree from both institutions within five years and aims to foster interdisciplinary and collaborative work, according to the program’s website.

Some artists in the exhibition drew from their work at Brown in addition to their studio experience at RISD. Susie Zhu ’23, who studies Printmaking at RISD and Literary Arts at Brown, displayed “Unfold: A love poem to Mars,” a small book made of wood with cloud-like cotton pages unfolding out of it, with a poem she wrote burned into the cotton. She said that as she has progressed through the Dual Degree Program, she has come to feel that her art “is (her) poetry,” and that the two mediums are “intimately connected.”

Visitor Olivia McClain ’22 was intrigued by artworks which “made space to own and talk about privilege.” She and others were drawn to one of the largest pieces in the exhibit, “Brown University Alumni Walkway: The Unsaid History,” by Javier Syquia ’21, in collaboration with RISD students Labelle Chang and Ryan Kang. Captured in floor-spanning photographs, the artists added messages to empty bricks among those engraved with Brown alumni names outside the Maddock Alumni Center, offering glimpses of Brown’s unrepresented histories with statements such as “This Land Belongs to the Narragansett Tribe.”

The exhibition will be on display in the Granoff Center until Feb. 13.


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