Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) will hold its 120th Commencement on Saturday, June 7, 2003, outdoors on South Water Street in Providence, RI, beginning at 10:00am. Dave Hickey, art critic, curator and lectuer will deliver the Commencement address. At the ceremony, the college will confer Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degrees on Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi, behavioral scientist; Dave Hickey; Jenny Holzer, fine artist and RISD alumna; and Jens Risom, one of the most influential furniture designers of the 20th century.
RISD?s 2003 Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degree recipients:
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi - Author, research scientist and psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has devoted his career to the study of what makes people happy. His 1990 bestseller Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience introduced his concept of "flow" - a satisfied state of being that comes from creative, productive engagement. The book proved to be equally fascinating to business and governmental leaders as well as the general public. Csikszentmihalyi's subsequent books The Evolving Self, Creativity and Finding Flow, among others, brought his perspectives on behavioral science to a growing readership and garnered attention from Newsweek, Psychology Today, Nova and the BBC, among many other programs and publications. Currently the C.S. and D.J. Davidson Professor of Psychology at Claremont Graduate University's Drucker School of Management, Csikszentmihalyi is also director of the Quality of Life Research Center and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He achieved his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where he also taught for more than twenty years.
Dave Hickey - Dave Hickey is a curator and free-lance writer of fiction and cultural criticism. Through his extensive work, Dave Hickey has earned an international reputation as an art personality and writer. Writing with grace, precision, and humor, and absent of any pretension, Hickey invites his readers to experience art on its own terms. He has written for most major American cultural publications, including ARTnews, Art in America, Artforum, Rolling Stone, Interview, Harper's, Vanity Fair and The New York Times; his books include Roy Lichtenstein: Brushstrokes, Four Decades (2002, Mitchell-Innes & Nash), Stardumb (1999, Artspace Press), two volumes of collected essays and numerous exhibition catalogues. Hickey's curatorial work includes SITE Santa Fe's Fourth International Biennial Beau Monde: Toward a Redeemed Cosmopolitanism in 2001, and solo exhibitions by David Reed, Peter Alexander, Karen Carson and others. Affiliated with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, since 1992, Hickey is frequently invited to lecture at institutions in the United States and abroad. He has received numerous honors throughout his career, including a 2001 MacArthur "genius" award. He received a B.A. from Texas Christian University and an M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.
Jenny Holzer - From the streets of lower Manhattan, where she pasted up posters with the enigmatic words of her Truisms series in 1979 - ROMANTIC LOVE WAS INVENTED TO MANIPULATE WOMEN and IT IS MAN'S FATE TO OUTSMART HIMSELF - Jenny Holzer has emerged as one of America's most celebrated contemporary artists. In subsequent projects such as Living, Survival and Lustmord she used LED signs, stickers, billboards and the web to deliver authoritative statements devoid of context, forcing viewers to consider large subjects - war, sex, death, power - as concrete issues rather than abstracted art. In 1989 Holzer's career took off when the Guggenheim Museum and the Dia Art Foundation invited her to do solo shows in New York, and the following year she became the first woman to represent the United States with a solo exhibition at the 1990 Venice Biennale, where she won the grand prize. She has exhibited in museums and galleries across Europe and the Americas, and has created permanent installations for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, UCLA and the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, among other venues. Holzer received her M.F.A. in painting from Rhode Island School of Design in 1977.
Jens Risom - Though born and educated in Copenhagen, Jens Risom is recognized as one of the most influential American furniture designers of the 20th century. Shortly after emigrating to New York in 1939 he teamed up with fellow Danish emigre Hans Knoll to generate ideas for Knoll's new furniture company, and in 1942 contributed 15 pieces to the first Knoll catalogue. Risom's first pieces - influenced by a cross-country research trip and shaped by wartime constraints on materials - included now-classic chairs made of cedar and surplus webbing, which gave him a strong commercial start and established his style as a marriage of simplicity, practicality and beauty. After becoming a naturalized United States citizen and returning from military service in 1945, he started his own company, Jens Risom Design, and for two decades designed furniture and interiors before selling his company to Dictaphone in 1970. In 1973 Risom launched a new business, Design Control, where he continues to work - sticking to his lifelong philosophy that "good design means that anything which is good by itself will go with other things."
Rhode Island School of Design has earned a worldwide reputation as the preeminent art and design college in the country. Today, with over 16,000 alumni, the college enrolls approximately 1,800 undergraduates and 200 graduate students from the United States and more than 47 countries, offering degree programs in the fine arts, architecture and design disciplines and art education. Academic programs include research and design initiatives, the exploration of art criticism and contemporary cultural concerns as well as international exchange programs. Each year, RISD hosts prominent and accomplished artists, critics and authors to its campus. Included within the college is The RISD Museum, housing 80,000 works of art in its permanent collection.
For more information, visit RISD?s Web site at www.risd.edu