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President Rosanne Somerson on campus at RISD (photo by Cary-Wolinsky, and provided by RISD)

The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) was founded by women over a century ago, and it continues to be one of the leading art schools in the United States. Its current president, Rosanne Somerson, who is also an accomplished furniture designer, stopped by to talk about the institution and how it has pivoted to stay on top of the field, while serving an increasingly diverse student body.

We also discuss the RISD Museum and its recent attempt to repatriate an item in its collection, the financial realities that face students, and how arts education can help us solve some of the challenges of today.

A special thanks to musician Sophie Hintze for allowing us to use her unreleased song “Coffee in the Rain.” You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

This and more in the current episode of our weekly Art Movements podcast.

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

One reply on “The Realities Facing Art Schools Today: A Conversation With RISD President Rosanne Somerson”

  1. Interesting interview where the president of RISD mentions gentrification as an issue for young artists and then boasts about the 2 RISD grads who started air bnb without any acknowledgement of how that industry is driving gentrification in cities.

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