April 12, 2022

Cheryl D. Miller to deliver commencement keynote address

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

Left to right: Cheryl D. Miller, Nick Cave and Shahzia Sikander. Courtesy of O&Co. Media, Sandro and Dan Gurton. 

On Saturday, June 4, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) will award degrees to 413 undergraduate and 241 graduate students at its 139th Commencement ceremony. Commencement 2022 will take place at 9am ET at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in downtown Providence followed by a reception at Market Square to toast the Class of 2022. For more information on RISD’s 2022 Commencement and to view the ceremony streaming live on June 4, visit here.

RISD will present two honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees to visionaries in contemporary culture. Graphic designer, educator and author Cheryl D. Miller will accept an honorary degree and deliver the keynote address. Artist and educator Nick Cave will also accept an honorary degree at the ceremony. In addition, artist Shahzia Sikander MFA 95 PT/PR will deliver the keynote address at the Graduate Hooding Ceremony on Friday, June 3.

For the first time, Reunion Weekend will be held in conjunction with Commencement weekend. The RISD alumni community will be able to celebrate its accomplishments and welcome its newest members, the Class of 2022. Updates and event details available here.

Cheryl D. Miller: honorary degree & commencement speaker
Graphic designer, educator and author Cheryl D. Miller aims to end the marginalization of BIPOC designers through her civil rights activism, industry exposé trade writing, rigorous research and archival vision. A distinguished senior lecturer in design at the University of Texas–Austin, in 2021 she was named an AIGA Medalist “Expanding Access” and a Cooper Hewitt “Design Visionary” awardee.

Nick Cave: honorary degree
Artist/educator Nick Cave works in a wide range of mediums, including sculpture, installation, video, sound and performance. His work speaks to societal issues such as global warming, racism and gun violence and encourages viewers to come together on a global scale, instigate change and—ultimately—heal.

Shahzia Sikander: graduate hooding speaker
Pioneering Pakistani American artist Shahzia Sikander is widely celebrated for expanding and subverting pre-modern and classical Central and South-Asian miniature painting traditions and launching the form known today as neo-miniature. Her innovative work led to US survey exhibitions at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the RISD Museum. A member of RISD’s Board of Trustees, she has won numerous awards, including a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and the National Medal of Arts.

A series of exhibitions leading up to Commencement will highlight new work produced by graduating students. Showcasing the work of grad students across 16 disciplines, Grad Show 2022 will be on view at the Rhode Island Convention Center from May 26–June 4. The Senior Film/Animation/Video Film Festival will be presented from May 11–14 at 7 pm ET in the RISD Auditorium and virtually from May 20–21 at 7 pm ET.

The work of all seniors receiving undergraduate degrees will be featured by department throughout the spring semester in weekly shows at Woods-Gerry Gallery. Installation and work images are viewable online.

About Rhode Island School of Design
RISD’s mission, through its college and museum, is to educate students and the public in the creation and appreciation of works of art and design, to discover and transmit knowledge and to make lasting contributions to a global society through critical thinking, scholarship and innovation. The college’s strategic plan NEXT: RISD 2020–2027 sets an ambitious vision for educating students for the future and bringing creative practices to bear on the creation of just societies, a sustainable planet and new ways of making and knowing. RISD’s immersive model of art and design education, which emphasizes critical making through studio-based learning and robust study in the liberal arts, prepares students to intervene in the critical challenges of our time. Working with exceptional faculty and in extraordinary specialized facilities, 2,500 students from 68 countries engage in 44 full-time bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. RISD’s 31,000 alumni worldwide testify to the impact of this model of education, exemplifying the vital role artists and designers play in today’s society. Founded in 1877, RISD (pronounced “RIZ-dee”) and the RISD Museum help make Providence, RI among the most culturally active and creative cities in the region.

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