We provide spaces and opportunities for the intersection of artistic practice and research. Such creative investigations might take the form of collaborative and open-ended forms of exploration and inquiry that lead to new work and insights.
Projects, Publications, and Programs
Read and experience how some artists have expressed their research:
Artists investigate the processes and techniques used to create works on view:
Work in Process / Andrew Raftery on Creating a Ceramic Decal for Transferware
Artist on Art / Elizabeth Duffy on Wallpaper Printing
From Flax To Finish by McKenzie Everett
Artists take on the mysteries and inconsistencies of the museum as an institution:
Artist Fellow Walker Mettling on the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition Souvenir Textile by Walker Mettling
Objects in Inventory Land: Repairing the Collection by Rachel Blumberg with Anna Rose Keeffe
Artists create responses to their own experiences and to the collection:
Strand by Nafis White and García Sinclair
(Re)tracing the Silver Seaweed: A Maker's Process by Lillian Webster
Butterfly Hymnals That Won’t Disturb the Pleasant: Complacency, And Other Lullabies by Shuriya Davis
Entr'acte by Mary Yang
An Ambitious but Essential Multi-Purpose Checklist for Discerning Black Artists by Kelly Taylor Mitchell
Propose a project or program
Share your vision for activating our collections: Submit a proposal
By supporting the local creative community, the RISD Museum and its audiences are fueled by the imagination and innovation of the artists and designers it serves. This year-long artist fellowship offers a local artist the opportunity to explore new ideas and ways of working that challenge conventional methodologies. The fellow investigates Museum collections related to their areas of interest, with support and mentorship from curatorial staff, conservators, and educators, and engages in research that benefits their personal practice and delves deeply into ideas, materials, and processes. The artist fellow receives a stipend, professional-development support, and the opportunity to work closely with the Museum’s collections and staff members to realize a proposed project.
- Past Artist Fellows
2020: Jazzmen Lee-Johnson
Jazzmen Lee-Johnson’s practice centers on the interplay of animation, printmaking, music, and dance, informed by a yearning to understand how our current circumstance is tethered to the trauma of the past. Through her visual, sonic, and movement investigations across time and technology she disrupts and asserts ideas of history, body, liberation, and otherness. She received her BFA in Film, Animation, and Video at RISD, her MA in Public Humanities at Brown University, and a heavy dose of education working with youth in Baltimore, South Africa, and New York City. She is currently a music mentor to teens at New Urban Arts and the inaugural Artist in Residence at the Rhode Island Department of Health utilizing the arts to confront health disparities and shape health equity. She is always eager to radically reimagine the possibilities of the present by disturbing fixed notions of the past, and conjuring a future that might come to be.
Read more about Jazzmen's first months in the fellowship here.
2019: Dana Heng
Dana Heng is a visual artist, educator, and organizer from Providence, RI. Woven throughout her grassroots community and collaborative based practice is work pertaining to questions of her own identity as a young, first-generation Khmer woman. Most days, she is mentoring high school students in painting and drawing at New Urban Arts. In her spare time, she is working on collaborative projects that aim to create spaces for people with marginalized identities, namely, Binch Press, QTZ Fest, and a collective living space for people of color in the Southside of Providence.
See documentation of Dana's time at the museum here.
2018: Becci Davis
Becci Davis was born in Fort Benning, Georgia. She spent her early years playing in her grandparents' backyard in nearby Columbus and her teenage years exploring the fields and forests of her parents' farmland in Louisville, Georgia. She earned her BFA with honors from Columbus State University and her MFA from Lesley University College of Art and Design. Becci is an interdisciplinary artist, collecting images, documents, and oral narratives, which, combined with her own interpretation and response, create a new history and personal geography. Currently, she lives with her family in Wakefield, RI.
See documentation of Becci’s time at the museum here.
2017: Walker Mettling
Walker Mettling is a Providence printmaker, cartoonist, and educator. Since 2010, he has directed the Providence Comics Consortium, a micro-publisher that offers free comics-making workshops in libraries and prints the work of kid and adult artists alongside one another. In 2016 he won the Dorry Award in Best Public Art for his Dirt Palace window installation of arcane winter-themed mythological characters. Most recently Mettling edited a few issues of the oversized full-color comics newspaper The Providence Sunday Wipeout.
See documentation of Walker’s time at the museum here.
2016: Xander Marro
Xander Marro describes her work as "often about spiritual relationships to the material stuff of this world." She draws pictures, makes movies, produces plays with elaborate sets and costumes, and makes work such as quilts and dioramas. In 2000, Marro co-founded the Dirt Palace, a feminist art space and artists' collective in Providence's Olneyville neighborhood.
2016: James Falzone
James P. Falzone is a composer and musician. He performs regularly throughout New England, both as a soloist (organ/piano) and as the coordinator of the Providence Research Ensemble—a group he founded in order to promote new music by contemporary composers, including his own work as well as pieces by his fellow ensemble members. His work ranges from formal compositions following a conceptual or algorithmic systems approach to more intuitive techniques such as tape collage.
See documentation of James’ time at the museum here.