Brendan Fernandes is a Canadian artist of Kenyan and Indian descent, who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. During his first visit to RISD Glass, Fernandes gave a lecture focusing on the concept of queerness and its discursive flexibility in contemporary dialogue. Following his presentation, Fernandes worked with students in the Hot Shop to create fleshy, organic forms, later included in a collaborative work featured by I Heart Your Work. The glass forms were referential of one of Fernandes’ past video installations titled Still Move, which involves dancers working with a nude rubber ball.
Jen Bervin is a writer and visual artist based in New York City who has been a recurring presence at RISD Glass. During her first visit to the department, Bervin introduced her extensive research investigating the potential of poems written at nanoscale in the form of a silk biosensor, capable of being transplanted into human tissue. Following her lecture, Students from RISD Glass gave Jen an introductory demonstration in the Hot Shop, which fostered an ongoing dialogue on the poetic potential of glass. In the Fall of 2015, Bervin led a writing workshop in collaboration with Brown University called Writing Glass.
Bruce Chao is an artist and educator, teaching full-time in the Glass Department at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he has been faculty since 1982. During his visit, Chao shared past and recent works with the department, emphasizing the evolution of the role glass has played in his work over time. Chaodiscussed the pervasive influence of glass and its properties on his work, even when he material itself is not physically involved.
Paul Etienne Lincoln creates elaborate machines and installations inspired by the particulars of history. His work is often based on historical figures and the complexity of the narratives that surround them. Every hand-machined part plays a specific role in carrying out the distinct narrative of each piece. In some cases his pieces take decades to complete. During his lecture at RISD Glass he shared work that wascurrently underway and discussed notions of functionality with the students. Paul lives and works in New York City.
Tara Nummedal is currently an Associate Professor in the History Department at Brown University. She has written Alchemy and Authority in the Holy Roman Empire, and is currently working on The Lion’s Blood: Alchemy, Gender, and Apocalypse in Reformation Germany, a project focusing on a female alchemist’s rise and fall at a ducal court during the 1570s. During her presentation to RISD Glass, Nummedal introduced students to the mysterious, often cryptic history of alchemy, and the role it played in the development of material science.
Tina Oldknow is an independent curator based in Silver City, New Mexico. Throughout her career, she has played a key role in encouraging the redefinition of studio glass art, holding the position of Curator of Modern Glass at the Corning Museum of Glass from 2000 to 2014, and serving as the Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Glass from 2014 to 2015.
For her visit to the RISD Glass Department, Oldknow presented a timeline of the rich particularities of the history of glass. She then led students in a discussion of the material properties of glass, its aging process, technical applications of glass, and the societal implications of key works.
Sean Foley is an artist, educator, and independent curator currently working at the College of the Atlantic, in Bar Harbor, Maine. Foley recently co-curated a show with Denise Markonish at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, titled Explode Everyday, an Inquiry into the Phenomenon of Wonder. The show was inspired by a course on Wonder that Foley taught at Ohio State University. e presented his research into the subject to RISD Glass.