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June 2015 | issue #117

John Waters inspires new grads with provocative humor

Just moments after he was miraculously dubbed “Dr. John Waters," the wonderfully irreverent filmmaker and cultural critic gave a spot-on address at RISD’s Commencement ceremony. If you haven’t already stumbled across the video of his talk online, take a few minutes to listen in now.

Cross-cultural creative mashup

When apparel designer Jenny Lai 10 AP took her NYC-based studio NOT to South Africa last year, she collaborated with a half dozen local designers in creating new looks that are captured in an exhibition now at the Museum of African Design in Johannesburg.

Starting up, out, over, again in Spring/Summer issue

Most of you have probably received the Spring/Summer issue of RISD XYZ in the mail by now, but if not, please let us know. Comments, questions and submissions are always welcomed at

see more stories including: water woeslearning from 4th graders, MFA grads celebrate, designing for seniors, must-see museum, alum survives shark attack, conserving rare objects, RISD teams at MassChallenge Accelerator
see more alumni exhibitions around the world
Arlene Shechet MFA 78 CR in Boston
Edie Fake 02 FAV in Chicago
Caroline Adams 01 PR in DC
Laura Kramer 94 GL in NYC
Shepard Fairey 92 IL in Detroit
senior class speaker Rachel Ossip BRDD 15 GD at Commencement
If you graduated in a year ending in 0 or 5, it’s time to connect with friends from your class to figure out how you want to celebrate your reunion this fall. RISD by Design weekend (October 9–11) offers a fun way to reconnect with each other and the campus community. And this year it starts with the official inauguration of Rosanne Somerson 76 ID as RISD’s 17th president on Friday afternoon.
The relatively new RISD-NYC Meetup Group invites all alums who will be in New York on Thursday, June 25 to join them for a private reception at Artsy from 6–8:30 pm. The director of the organization’s Art Genome Project will speak about one of the many cool ways the online resource provides in-depth, easy-to-access information about art, artists and collecting. Be sure to sign up in advance.

Capturing the flavor of Hong Kong street life

Living in the thick of one of China’s most cosmopolitan cities, Michael Sloan 84 IL fell in love with the outdoor markets full of “life and soul, chaos and smells.” 
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