“Due to COVID-19 and the resulting restrictions, I have been more open to considering different kinds of learning, i.e. in computer-based, virtual modalities. I am a hands-on, tactile person; I will always go for the physical book rather than the e-book, the in-person class rather than the online class, but accessing online professional development opportunities has been a viable way to quash feelings of isolation. It’s less lonely when you can see and talk to others who share your interests and want to continue to grow and develop artistically.

I have always wanted to take a class at RISD. Textiles are my true love, and after reading and researching and making fiber art for the past several years, I realized it was time to seek out formal art classes where I could develop my skills in a more disciplined way. I was also interested in communing with other like-minded students for inspiration and camaraderie.

I was surprised—pleasantly surprised—by the rigor of my RISD class. As a continuing education class, I had expected the content to be less stringent than it actually was.

My Surface Design instructor, Katy Dika, was amazing! She was patient, kind, encouraging, and helpful, yet held all students to a high standard. We were expected to achieve and succeed—and I certainly met my own personal goals by the end of the class.

My studio, which is at home, has migrated to all corners of my home. My family puts up with the ever-present piles of fabric, embroidery floss, needles, and half-finished projects that inhabit the counters, tables, and sofas. They are (usually) good natured about it—even the dogs, who occasionally sample my art by attempting to eat it or sit on it.”

—Marsha Borden, RISD CE student

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