Course Description

RISD Advanced Program for High School Students- Sculpture: Assemblage of Ideas

Artwork by Qinzhi Wang

Throughout history sculpture has served as a means to honor, reflect and challenge society. In this course students focus on assemblage to push the use of a 'ready-made' or 'found object' as a means of injecting theme and content into a work. Lectures present the rich historical context of everyday objects or images (in individual artworks and critical art movements), as well as the work of contemporary artists such as Nina Katchadourian, Tara Donovan, Jessica Stockholder and Francis Alys.

Students learn best practices for a well-rounded approach to making sculptural works outside of a traditional studio setting. They start with the process of ideation, which includes writing about and discussing ideas as a group; and sharing sketches, color studies, material studies and small prototypes. They then move into the making process and share in-process works and, finally, document images of sculptural work for a portfolio.


  • In this intensive course and Visual + Critical Language, students should expect to spend a combined minimum of 20 hours per week engaging in coursework across both courses. Students should plan their schedule accordingly to keep up with class.
  • In conjunction with your Featured Topics course(s), you are also required to enroll in Visual + Critical Language. When you register for this Featured Topics course, you will also be charged for the tuition of Visual + Critical Language. You will see this enrollment reflected in your Student Portal before the start date of the course. Visual + Critical Language will meet live two times: during the first and final live sessions of your Featured Topics course.


This course is part of RISD's Advanced Program Online, a pre-collegiate program for students ages 15–18 in grades 10–12.

Students who have completed or are currently enrolled in a prerequisite Essential Fundamentals course are eligible to enroll in the Advanced Program Concentration, which includes a Featured Topics course. If you have not yet completed an Essential Fundamentals course, you will receive an Enrollment Warning at checkout, and will be required to submit a Prerequisite Override Request for review.

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

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