IYRS Fall Lecture Series
Making in New England
Great craftsmanship comes in many arts and forms. In Newport, and throughout New England, we are fortunate to have many world renowned masters in a variety of fields—from furniture makers, artisans and traditional boat builders to extraordinary architects and designers working with innovative materials and technologies. Join us for our annual fall lecture series featuring four highly regarded New England makers working in very different fields. The collective series celebrates the diversity of great craft and the passion, technique and thinking behind it.
Stop by Cafe Zelda for dinner with a special IYRS menu (528 Thames Street), 6:00 - 7:15 pm. Call Zelda’s for reservations: (401) 849-4002 .
Walk to Restoration Hall at IYRS for the 7:30 pm lecture (449 Thames Street).
Members - free; Nonmembers - $10
Friday, October 18th
Dr. Robert Russell, Professor and Chairman, Department of Cultural and Historic Preservation, Salve Regina University
‘Hearts and Minds; Stones and Bones. Academic and Practical Preservation in the United States.’
What is the relationship – or lack of relationship - between academic training and practice and how it might improve? Dr. Russell will share his viewpoints on the topic. He will also share his experience with cultural and historic preservation at the American College of the Building Arts, in Charleston, and now at Salve Regina University, as well as insights into his own conservation work in cemeteries and graveyards.
Robert Russell, the recently arrived director of Salve Regina University’s program in Cultural and Historic Preservation, came to Newport from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina where he had run a similar undergraduate preservation program for many years. For quite some time he has been struggling with ways to integrate traditional American higher education with training in craft and the building trades, exploring models based on the 19th-century institution of the Apprentices’ Library. An outgrowth of these efforts was the development of practical courses in Historic Masonry Techniques and Practices, and Cemetery Conservation and Restoration. An unexpected result of the latter course has been a burgeoning sideline business in historic monument repair.
Russell grew up in the Midwest and attended Southern Illinois University as an undergraduate on the 10-year plan. He did graduate work in art and architectural history in New Jersey and then spent most of the following quarter century at colleges in the south. He is, consequently, an accidental Southerner.
Friday, November 1st
Rosanne Somerson, Provost, Rhode Island School of Design
“Learning through Making” - the importance of hands-on learning in both education and in America today.
When we make things, we tap into a deeper experience of learning. Ms. Somerson will demonstrate curricular principles through student works and examples of her own. In this Learning Through Making presentation, we will come to understand the importance of immersive making and its role in developing creative conceptual practice. Co-editor of The Art of Critical Making: Rhode Island School fo Design on Creative Practice, Somerson will showcase works that feature the importance of hands-on learning that is at the heart of the missions of both IYRS and RISD.
Rosanne Somerson was appointed Provost of Rhode Island School of Design in July 2012. She is RISD’s 25th chief academic officer. Somerson maintains a robust creative practice by designing and creating furniture for exhibitions and commissions, and as a partner in DEZCO, a production furniture company. Her work has been exhibited widely throughout the world and is represented in many prestigious private, corporate and museum collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Renwick Collection of the National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC, the Yale University Art Gallery and the RISD Museum of Art.
In April 2012 she received the Award of Distinction for lifetime achievement in the field of studio furniture by the Furniture Society.
Friday, November 8th
Taylor Allen, President, Rockport Marine & Scott Wilmoth - IYRS, Class of 2008, Rockport Marine
Important yacht restoration of the past five years at Rockport Marine, including the iconic yachts BOLERO and ADVENTURESS.
Taylor Allen began building boats as a teenager in Rockport Marine when the yard still belonged to his father, Luke Allen. Taylor became the president of Rockport Marine in 1980 and has grown the company into an internationally renowned wooden boat yard. Specializing in new construction, restoration, and design work, RMI has built a wide variety of boats, from traditional plank-on-frame to modern wood-composite vessels.
Friday, December 13th
Ben Hall, Vice President, Hall Spars & Rigging
“Imagine the possibilities of building with carbon fiber” -- designing, tooling and manufacturing advanced composite structures.
For more information, please contact Loriana DeCrescenzo or (401) 848-5777, x204.