Miami hotel with a pool

Destination Miami

RISD alums were showing their work all over town at Miami Art Week.

With more than 50 alums and current students exhibiting work during 2023 Miami Art Week—at Art Basel Miami Beach, Design Miami and host of concurrent shows around town—RISD artists and designers made quite a splash in Florida’s arts and culture hub this past December. 

Among the RISD artists who made the trip to South Florida were graduate students and recent alums Samuel Aguirre MFA 24 FD, Jesse Groom MFA 23 FD, Yuxuan Huang MFA 23 FD, Felicia Neuhof MArch 24, and Lisa Sacco MFA 23 FD. 

The five RISD designers were invited to exhibit pieces in Alcova Miami, a curated design exhibition that took over the iconic 1950s-era Selina Gold Dust Motel on Biscayne Boulevard for several days in early December. 

This was the first edition of Alcova outside of Italy, where the influential design fair has previously taken place during Milan Design Week in historically significant urban settings, including a slaughterhouse and a factory used for baking panettone. 

For Alcova Miami, the RISD designers fabricated an exhibition of nine objects titled Momentum, which included fresh takes on familiar objects such as an aluminum welded lamp, a steel-and-glass sculpture, a biomaterial-based shelf, and two chairs, one entirely compostable.

RISD President Crystal Williams also traveled to Miami in December, with new RISD Museum Director Tsugumi Maki and other faculty and staff, to visit Art Week exhibits and to meet with alums. 

While in the city, Williams moderated a Design Miami panel conversation that brought together women in design—educators, practitioners, gallerists, and more—who prioritize community building and collaboration. The discussion drew on the participants' experience of doing the work to shed light on the tools and models women have to support each other in the field.

Williams also led an Art Basel Miami Beach Conversation that brought together María Magdalena Campos-Pons—a multidisciplinary artist who is considered a key figure among Cuban artists who found their voice in post revolutionary Cuba—and Franklin Sirmans, director of Pérez Art Museum in downtown Miami. 

Photo courtesy of the Selina Gold Dust Motel