“Ways of Seeing: American Art” at RISD

The RISD museum furnished a soft light which set a relaxing tone for the “Ways of Seeing: American Art” workshop, on Thursday. Attendees, from varying backgrounds gazed into the neoclassical artworks of Thomas Cole and other American landscape painters on display. Workshop facilitators, Horace Ballard and Deb Clemons, led an interactive forum that captivated the crowd with personality, history, and of course – art.

The crowd seemed comfortable and interested. There was a air of curiosity, in the gallery. Ballard soon introduced Thomas Cole’s “Landscape”, painted in 1828, as the topic of discussion. His description – followed by a historical reference and an Emily Dickenson poem, written in the same year – conceptualized art through time. By connecting individual paintings to historical contexts, discussions encouraged those attending to make connections across multiple mediums of expression.


“Ways of Seeing: American Art” is a part of the “Ways of Seeing” series that explores everything from American landscape painters to French Impressionists. In just one hour, Ballard and Clemons provided entertaining conversation; while encouraging attendees to view classic artworks on a deeper level. The RISD museum’s once monthly workshop, “Ways of Seeing”, sheds a soft light on the beauty of art, time, and perspective.