Museum Guild

The Museum Guild is a group of undergraduate students from local colleges and universities who work to highlight student interests in the museum. Supported by the museum’s Academic Programs staff, they develop self-directed projects and programs that highlight diverse perspectives and facilitate community engagement within and beyond the greater Providence area. Through this work, the Guild hopes to create space for critical dialogue around the collection, purpose, and future of the RISD Museum.

Applications are open at the start of every academic year. Contact with questions.


Last year's group

Meet the 2021-22 Museum Guild! Follow along at @risdmuseumguild on Instagram.

Left to right, back to front: Deb Clemons, Assistant Director, Public and Academic Programs; Yiwei Chen, RISD Interior Architecture '23; Yavya Jain, RISD Industrial Design '23; Quinn Erickson, Brown History of Art and Architecture '24; Jane Freiman, Brown American Studies and Comparative Literature '22; Ruqiya Quinn, Brown History of Art and Architecture and Political Science '23; Colin Orihuela, Brown American Studies and Visual Art '24; Alisa Caira, Brown Literary Arts and Anthropology '22.5; Amrita Desmet, RISD Industrial Design '24; not pictured: Eden Faith McKenna-Bateman, University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth, Art History '23


Past projects and programs

In 2021-22, the Museum Guild produced three public programs at the museum. "Rip and Reimagine: Collaging Museum Futures" encouraged dialogue about museums and art, offering a space to craft in community. Using excess art books from past exhibitions, the workshop invited visitors to create collages imagining possibilities for the museum's future. "Poetic Translations: Art and the Written Word" showcased students performing creative writing written in response to the exhibition Inherent Vice. Participants were encouraged to create their own text-based work by writing ekphrasis poems in the exhibition Any Distance Between Us or composing blackout poetry in the early Renaissance gallery. "Making Space," a collaboration with the RISD student publication v.1, immersed visitors in themes of space and place through readings from students featured in v.1's latest issue, conversation between the issue's editors and writers, and hands-on art-making.
In 2020-21, the Guild adjusted their modes of working collaboratively. Through a year spent on Zoom, with members calling in from Providence, New Orleans, New Delhi, London, and more, the group produced Unravel: An Anti-Exhibition. This digital publication revolves around the belief that making artist processes public allows for sharing skills and ideas, supporting artists as whole people, and de-emphasizing the commodification of the art object. While museums often foreground finished work, this project focuses on the complexities of students’ artistic practice at various stages of completion, or non-completion.