RISD 20 years ago - A flashback friday.

This year is the 20th anniversary of my graduation from RISD ( Rhode Island School of Design). My friend and fellow alum Megan Jeffery has begun a RISD "flashback Friday" series to celebrate the 20th on her blog and I thought I would as well. Any fellow alum who read this blog should too, would make for a fun reading circle.

To start I thought I'd go back to my final semester and one of the most unexpected and proud of projects I did in my 4 years there.

The Assistant Resident Director (forgive me for not remembering his name) came to me one day in the refectory (food hall) at dinner. He said my buddy Pete Whitehead, an R.A. at the time thought I'd be interested in a project he had in mind. He explained that he was surprised there was not more public art around campus being an art school. He thought it would be great to encourage this by having a mural in one the freshman dorm lounges. Of course I said yes.

Here it is...

It was painted in the evenings in 1 or 2 hour late night shifts. The first week was spent repainting the work from the night before, I was never happy with it. Doing this among other homework, I neglected my important senior degree project. When my final review came around I presented photos of the mural explaining this is what had been distracting me from completing it. Thankfully, it was accepted as a valid excuse and noted that "the mural should of been my degree project".

If you look close at the above picture , in the hair along the top of the raised eyebrow, there is the name Monica. She is my baby sister and at the time was showing skill in (and a dedication to) art it as a career. I thought, what if she might go to RISD one day? For fun, I put her name in the mural (like Hirshfield's "Nina") as a little welcome if she ever did and if the mural would still be there. She did not end up going... so that was a big waist of my time (writing this should get me a good birthday present this year out of guilt).

A couple of good memories with this mural...

My friend Sabrina Fadial hanging out keeping me company while I worked and being the hand model for Kong's paw grabbing the brick.

My friend Larry Levato coming by one night to round me up for one of the many spontaneous
senior year parties and excited to witness when I signed it finally being done.

I wonder if it's still there? Anyone know? If so, would love to go and re-paint it...I cringe looking at it, could do so much better now.

The pictures below are friends Lee Lovett and Steve Miller do a Vanna White impression...and yea, me in 1987. 20 years ago.


  1. How did I never see this???
    This is fantastic, and wow, the depth on this is just amazing!
    Now that I'm seeing where this is located, this may be on a wall that I couldn't have seen from my vantage point of standing outside (i.e. the window to the right of where Steve is standing).
    Does this mean that there's another nighttime Reconnaissance Mission that's in store for me?
    I have the black clothes.
    I AM an artist after all. :-)

  2. You are really good at guilt. Yes a big birthday gift this year, or maybe a huge easter bunny gift, or a just for fun cinco de mayo gift, or a never too many presents for 4th of July, or labor day should now be called "Gifts for Dave" day. Thanks again for the nod, sorry I didn't follow in your footsteps, but you have pretty big shoes to fill...I mean that literally and figuratively.

  3. Check out that cool cat in the Indiana Jones jacket! I think I found my new wallpaper.

    Wait. That sounds kinda gay...