Press Releases

The School of Art+Design Presents the Artists-in-Residence Exhibition May 22-June 12

Date Released: 4/30/2008

The Purchase College School of the Arts, School of Art+Design presents the work of Fo Wilson and John Rais, Artists-in-Residence in Applied Design, in an exhibition May 22-June 12 in the Richard and Dolly Maass Gallery. An opening reception will be held on May 22 from 5-7 PM. The Maass Gallery is open Monday-Friday, 9 AM-5 PM. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call 914-251-6750.

Purchase College, State University of New York, is located at 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, N.Y.

The School of Art+Design’s Artist-in-Residence (AIR) Program in Applied Design hosts established makers of exceptional talent who craft functional objects and furniture in order that they may develop a body of work while participating in the education of Purchase students and in the life of the larger Purchase community. Through public lectures, workshops and Maass Gallery exhibitions, the AIR program is a public resource for the exchange and exploration of ideas relative to the contemporary cultural and social environment.  Both John Rais and Fo Wilson bring the worlds of art, design and craft in closer proximity, and challenge how we define studio furniture practice and the concepts of function.

Using the language of furniture, Ms. Wilson engages and investigates ideas around identity, culture and the human experience. Her work often crosses boundaries between, art, design, and craft. Trained as a furniture designer and maker, with a background as a graphic designer and art director, Ms. Wilson’s work utilizes three-dimensional design and making skills with a two-dimensional media background to bring to the foreground functional aspects of furniture we often take for granted. She combines traditional materials and methods along with emerging media to make commentary on the physical, social and cultural conditioning inherent in furniture forms and social spaces.

Fo Wilson graduated with an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design’s Furniture Design program in 2005 with a concentration in art history. Prior to her graduate studies, she ran her own graphic design consultancy with offices in New York and the San Francisco Bay area and worked with such diverse companies as Time Warner, Condé Nast Publications, The New York Times, Black Entertainment Television, Williams Sonoma, McKinsey Consulting and the ACLU. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and previously taught at the Rhode Island School of Design and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, as well as the California College of Art (formerly CCAC) and Parsons School of Design in New York. She writes about art and design and is also an independent curator. She is currently working on the upcoming exhibition “The New Materiality: Digital Technologies at the Boundaries of Contemporary Craft,” which will originate at the Fuller Museum of Craft in Massachusetts. Her work has been exhibited nationally and is included in the collection of the Cooper Hewitt National Museum of Design.

Internationally known blacksmith and sculptor, John J. Rais’s traditional-meets-modern furniture pieces and his elegant fire screens have been exhibited at the National Metals Museum, the Smithsonian, Kohler Art Center, and notable galleries. Mr. Rais's sculpture and furniture have been featured in Metalsmith, American Craft, Ritz-Carlton and Departure magazines. He received his BFA in Sculpture from Massachusetts College of Art and his MFA in Metalsmithing from Cranbrook Academy of Art. A Senior Lecturer of Crafts at the University of Arts in Philadelphia, he recently completed a residency at the prestigious John Michael Kohler Art Center in Wisconsin.