Alumni Concentrators

Our Graduates: What are they doing now?

Christine Shin, class of 2011, writes:

ShinI graduated in 2011 with a BFA in Jewelry & Metalsmithing and a concentration in English (now Literary Arts and Studies). My focus during the concentration was on gender and race by specifically analyzing the characters of texts through objects, clothing and spaces. As a jewelry major these discoveries helped feed my work by allowing me to develop a much deeper, sensitive understanding of our relationship with the things and places we’re surrounded by. Currently I am living in Brooklyn, New York and I’ve been working on my own production line of jewelry called ‘Gestalt.’ Inspired by principles of gestalt systems, the pieces in the collection use graphic shapes that interact with the body and play with the eye to create subtly varying lines, shapes, and gestures. Pieces from ‘Gestalt’ encourage people to interpret what they perceive, and that was what I was encouraged to do during my time at RISD.


Nathalie Shepherd, class of 2003, writes:

ShepherdI graduated from RISD in 2003, with a BFA in Painting and a Concentration in English (now Literary arts and Studies). I received an MFA at the University of New Orleans in 2008, and an art education certificate for New York State teachers at Pratt Institute in 2012. I am currently working as a teaching artist at the MoMA and Dia Beacon, and I continue to work on my own artwork. My studies as an English concentrator at RISD are still relevant to the work I do today as an artist and educator.  I took classes like “Magical Realism and the South” and “Captivity and Race in America.”  Classes like these introduced me to the in-depth study of issues – race, gender, and national identity — that are central to debates in contemporary art, and that certainly influence my work.  These classes also helped me become familiar with broader issues and debates in culture that are important to understanding contemporary art, as well as the vocabulary with which to re-examine historical art through post-modern perspectives.  My most recent series of paintings, for example, engage with the way painting has historically objectified the female body by trying to open up a type of conceptual space on the canvas that allows the female body to not merely act (in accordance to gender roles), but also act out.