The Rhode Island School of Design has a long and proud history as a bastion of artistic knowledge, skill, and talent not only in this state but also throughout the country. Classes and programs based on various forms of art are offered both to enrolled students and to artistic “lay people,” those folks who would simply like to try their hand at something new, unique, and exciting. RISD’s classes for the masses are referred to as the Continuing Education program, and every season, RISD publishes a CE Catalogue detailing which classes are being offered.
The RISD CE Catalogue does not only provide a list of classes, however. In each edition, a local notable is highlighted. Maybe this notable produced a fine work of art in a previously-offered CE class. Perhaps this notable won some sort of award. In any event, the CE Catalogue functions as a community showcase.
In the Spring 2001 edition of the RISD Continuing Education Catalogue, the showcased was “Renaissance Man at Age 12:” Ben Schwartz. Notable as Ben’s first “press” attention, the following article was a prominent feature in the Catalogue:
The full article rendered in plain text is below:
Ben Schwartz: Renaissance Man at Age 12
Great things are expected of twelve-year-old Benjamin Schwartz, whose artwork was recently chosen for national display. This talented local “star” is a participant in RISD’s Young Artist Program, where he attended our Crayola® Dream-Makers® Workshop in the summer of 1999. In this workshop, Ben and his classmates explored the relationship between mathematics and design. Working in various media, they learned that basic math concepts such as geometry, balance, and measurement are important components of good design. At the end of the course, instructor A.J. Morse submitted the students’ creations to Crayola.
In June 2000, Ben was informed that his work, “Long-Finned New Englander,” had been selected for display in the Crayola® Dream-Makers® Northeast Regional Exhibition. Shown at the Scranton Cultural Center in Pennsylvania during the month of November, his art work now hangs permanently on the walls of the US Department of Education in Washington, DC.
That’s a fine piece of recognition for someone who is in the seventh grade at St. Luke School in Barrington, RI. Not only an award-winning visual artist, he also appears in television commercials. We can only marvel at what must lie ahead for you, Ben. RISD/CE applauds your accomplishments and wishes you continued success. Leonardo DaVinci himself would be proud!
For more information about Ben’s award-winning art work, visit the Dreammakers page.