Khia Goes To RISD

By in News on September 8, 2011

Khia Poitier, a winner of the Popopstudios Junior Residency Prize (PJRP) in 2010, is now a student at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where she is pursuing a degree in illustration.

The PJRP is an intensive “artist in residence” program to encourage young Bahamian artists under age 25. It is made possible through the generosity and support of the D’Aguilar Art Foundation.

During her residency at Popopstudios Khia was grappling with the idea of college and her potential future as an artist.

“I was thinking about college,”  she said,  “I was thinking about choosing a major … and I was getting really stressed out about it because you feel like you haven’t lived a quarter of your life yet and yet you have to make all of these big decisions about who you ultimately have to be and it feels so permanent at the time.”

“The residency on the whole was completely life-changing, honestly,” said Poitier.

“I’m very, very grateful and it’s made me believe that actually I can pursue art now.”

Khia recently graduated from the College of the Bahamas (COB) having spent two years earning her Associate’s in Art. John Cox, Popopstudios founder and Khia’s teacher at COB expressed how proud he was of Khia for pursuing a higher education at RISD. He said she that she has much potential. Under Cox’s coaching, Khia left her artistic mark on the COB campus in the form of a large mural installed in the Harry Moore Library and Information Center.

RISD is one of the highest-rated fine arts colleges in the US and Khia follows in the footsteps of many other Bahamian artists who attended the school – including John Cox, Michael Edwards, Jolyon Smith, Dionne Benjamin-Smith, Jace McKinney, Tavares Strachan and Janine Antoni, to name just a few.

“I’m really looking forward to a change in environment and being around artists that I have no cultural connection to and to prove myself and see that what I have to say is valid and different,” she says.  “I’m excited to see how I do amongst the best of the best.”

Portions of this article were taken from articles written by Sonia Farmer and Thea Rutherford from the Nassau Guardian

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) campus