RISD Glass

RISD Glass

From its adventurous beginnings as an experimental glass furnace on a nearby farm 50 years ago, RISD Glass has promoted experimentation, investigation, and innovation as the foundation for creative practice. With its pioneering spirit, RISD Glass has long been recognized as a leader in its field. Based on a commitment to the investigation of both material and conceptual manifestations of Glass, RISD Glass redefines artistic perspectives through disciplined investigations, experimentation, and rigorous critical inquiry.

The 2016–17 academic year marks the 50th anniversary of RISD Glass. This anniversary year provides a moment to look in depth at our program and celebrate our commitment to finding the conceptual through material. This year long celebration will feature lectures, panel discussions, special projects, a special publication, a film series, and other events. Please check the website for the schedule of upcoming events.


RISD Glass Film Festival
Presented by RISD Glass and Providence Cinemathèque

50th Anniversary events
RISD Weekend, October 7–9, 2016

To register, or for more information, including travel and accommodations, see RISD Weekend.


Tavares Strachan

Tavares Strachan 03 GL delivers the keynote lecture for RISD Weekend, which also marks the launch of RISD Glass’ 50th year celebration. Strachan caught the attention of the international art scene in 2006 when he embarked on a journey to the Alaskan Arctic to excavate a 4.5 ton block of ice which he then transported via FedEx to his native Bahamas and displayed in a solar-powered freezer. He has exhibited internationally at venues such as the Venice Biennale, MIT List Art Gallery, The Brooklyn Museum and Ron Feldman Fine Art, New York. His work and process exemplifies the dedication to skill, risk taking and innovation has defined RISD Glass and made it a leader in its field from its inception.

6pm, Metcalf Auditorium, 20 N Main St


Panel Discussion — Saturday, October 8th

Material Investigations:
Developing an Experimental Studio Practice

Distinguished alumni James Carpenter, Toots Zynsky, Helen Lee, and Alex Rosenberg will discuss their work and the very different career paths they have taken since their time in RISD Glass, providing insight into the Glass Department's approach to developing artistic perspectives through disciplined investigations, experimentation, and rigorous critical inquiry.

2pm, Metcalf Auditorium, 20 N Main St


Panel Discussion, followed by a cocktail reception — SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8TH

Wonder: 50 Years Of RISD Glass

Denise Markonish (Curator, Mass MoCA) will lead a discussion with RISD Glass faculty and alumni about the dynamic environment of experimentation and investigation of both the material and conceptual manifestations of glass at RISD and the ways this is shaping the contemporary art world.

4pm, Metcalf Auditorium, 20 N Main St


GLASS MENAGERIE:  A Projection performance by gIbson + recoder
— Sunday, OCTOBER 9TH

In collaboration with the Fine Arts Glass department, New York artist duo Sandra Gibson 99 FAV and Luis Recoder workshop a new expanded cinema performance that incorporates glasswork from RISD students made specifically for this event. The optical properties of glass and those of the cinema combine in what the artists describe as an encounter with “projective fractography”: dispersing, scattering, and recasting the projected celluloid film material in a performance that activates the main auditorium’s dual 35mm changeover system.

11am RISD Auditorium, 7 Canal Walk