On Wednesday, Nov. 30, the president of Rhode Island School of Design, Rosanne Somerson, and cofounder of Art Production Fund and RISD graduate Yvonne Force Villareal joined Surface editor-in-chief Spencer Bailey for Design Dialogues No. 32. The event, presented with Faena Art, took place during Miami Art Week inside the Faena Art Dome, a pop-up venue on the beach.
In discussing art education and finding success as a creative, Somerson debunked the notion of a “starving artist,” noting the widespread success of her students. Moreover, graduates are putting their talents toward social responsibility, including one who created an animated program for patients at a children’s hospital. Somerson also touched on the importance of putting technology into the context of art. “We’re educating kids for jobs that don’t exist yet,” she said.
Villareal, whose ventures include Prada Marfa by Elmgreen and Dragset and Ugo Rondinone’s “Seven Magic Mountains,” explained that committing to a long-term project requires a strong belief that it is giving to the greater good. “Art is for everyone,” she said. “It is not elitist. It is a necessity.” When prompted about the political noise in today’s world, she said, “Art has never been more important.”