At Materials for the Arts we often receive requests from people who want to stop by and learn more about our program with the hope of starting a creative reuse program in their own community. This past summer, Joe Escobar, an Industrial Design major from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) came down from Providence to meet with Harriet Taub, our Executive Director, to discuss a project he has been working on. Joe’s idea became a reality in the RISD 2nd Life Store—a combination reuse store and gallery—that had its official opening on September 15th, 2012. The culmination of the hard work and efforts of RISD students and faculty together, the reuse store serves both local students and the general public. The gallery, called Exposé, features the work of RISD students and works well in combination with the store, as the artworks highlight materials that are available for sale in the shop.
This past weekend, Harriet happened to be in Providence and paid a visit to the store to see how the students were faring. Materials are typically collected during RISD students’ end-of-year clean-ups, but as word gets out, they are hoping to capture the attention of both materials donors and users of materials beyond the RISD community. Maharam, one of our MFTA donors, has even expressed interest in shipping boxes of fabric samples up to 2nd Life. In fact, Joe happens to be a 2012 Maharam STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Math) Fellow for this project. If you are planning a trip to New England to check out the fall foliage, stop by Providence on your way northeast and check out the 2nd Life Store.