Ringling College Opens "Dog & Pony Show"

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BY PHILIP LEDERER SRQ DAILY FRIDAY WEEKEND EDITION FRIDAY SEP 22, 2017

For 25 years, the New York Studio Residency Program from the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) has been nurturing young artists. In groups of 18 or so, they descend on the Brooklyn area for a semester-long sojourn from the everyday, living in special reserved studios, attending seminars with established artists and dedicating their time to their craft. Some even came from Ringling College of Art and Design. But after nearly a quarter of a century, the AICAD residency program has come to an end. Ringling College celebrates its legacy with a new exhibition, The Dog & Pony Show, opening tonight at 6pm in the Crossley Gallery with works from three Ringling students who attended the program last spring.

“Being there, you could tell there was something special about it,” says Hayley Denham, now a senior at Ringling College, of her time with the program last year. More than simply learning technique or having time to focus, she found herself encouraged as an artist, particularly to see that no two artists have exactly the same process—and that’s OK. “It was a breath of fresh air to realize that,” Denham says, and she would spend much of her time there creating a massive painting on fabric, ultimately filling more than 30 feet with creatures she simply calls “organisms.” Emily Rives, also a senior at Ringling College, attended the program as well, devoting her time to fabric sculptures designed to capture what she calls “events of the body” or “the negative space of a body”—those lingering environmental effects or resonant absences in the wake of human action. “It really provided a lot of opportunities that we wouldn’t necessarily get in our hometown or college,” says Rives, noting particularly the diversity of perspective and background cultivated by a program uniting budding artists from around the world. “It’s sad to see it go, but it had a good run.”

Currently installed in the Crossley Gallery, audiences at The Dog & Pony Show will get a chance to see these pieces and more, along with work from fellow Ringling student Jordan Holm, who attended the AICAD residency with Denham and Rives. The exhibition opens tonight with an reception at 6pm and runs through Sep. 29.

Pictured: "The Dog & Pony Show" at Ringling College of Art and Design.

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