We’re usually skeptical of anything that ends in “-omics,” but we’ll make an exception for RISD. The school has partnered with the American Craft Council to host “Artonomics: New Tools for Artists and Designers,” a free-form symposium exploring opportunities emerging from new modes of communication, presentation, marketing, and distribution. The programming kicks off on Thursday evening with a keynote event featuring RISD president (and MBA holder) John Maeda and crafty entrepreneur Maria Thomas. On Friday, a “New Tools” panel moderated by Julie Lasky of Change Observer will bring together Lisa Baynes (The Guild and Artful Home), Scott Belsky (Behance), and Murray Moss (Moss).
Other reasons to make your way to Providence in the near future include the RISD Museum’s dynamite Pat Steir exhibition, on view through July 3. Organized by RISD curator Jan Howard and independent curator Susan Harris, the exhibition examines 40 years of Steir’s work, focusing on her exploration of the vocabulary of drawing. Come for the John Cage-inspired word/image works, stay for the re-creation of her large wall drawing “Self-Portrait: An Installation” (first created for the New Museum in 1987), which she produced on site with the assistance of 12 RISD students.
If you’d rather spend your Friday learning about everything from Jean-Luc Godard‘s graphic design choices to the modern architecture of Elroy Webber, don’t miss “Crossing the Line: The 2010 D-Crit Conference,” which will be moderated by Kurt Andersen. Conceived and organized by the graduating students of the MFA Design Criticism Department at the School of Visual Arts, the event will feature keynote presentations by design thinkers John Thackara and Peter Hall. But the real stars of the day will be the students, who will offer peeks into their diverse thesis projects. RSVP by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In other letter-based news, W magazine has a new creative director. Freshly installed editor-in-chief Stefano Tonchihas tapped Jody Quon, photo director at New York, to replace Dennis Freedman, who announced his departure last month. “I’ve been a big fan of her work in New York magazine, her use of talent and her imagination,” Tonchi told WWD of Quon. “I see her as somebody who cares as much about the cover of a magazine as the last page of a magazine, somebody who gives as much attention to the well features as to the little things that happen in front of the book.” Quon’s first day at W is May 24.