Art in a Design World; Female in a Masculine Domain

2018-03-27 Img 7597 2 (1) Ahp 0037 (1)

This event will be the official launch/premiere of Silverthorne Hawk Studios, a new collaborative space offering with a full woodshop and metal shop. The studio space will also provide a showcase for the work of other women artists and designers working in the Rhode Island and Southeastern Mass. area.

McKenzie Gibson, owner and operator of both McKenzie Gibson Studios and Silverthorne Hawk Studios, will share her experience – the struggles and the wins – in developing her artistic practice, being a small business owner, and the gender dynamics of both. The discussion will elaborate on how she arrived at her current approach to marrying art & design, the strategies she has employed to balance art creation and business administration, and the emerging plan to create a space for women within this traditionally masculine craft.

Lunch is generously donated by Table Bistro in Warren, RI.

These events are being recorded and photographed. By attending, you give your consent to be photographed, filmed, taped, and/or recorded.


McKenzie Gibson

McKenzie Gibson Studio

McKenzie Gibson spent twelve years in the hospitality industry, eventually working as General Manager while attending the Architecture program at the University of Tennessee. She dropped out to work at the firm Populous for the next three years, eventually realizing the bittersweet truth that architecture was not her passion. The love of hand drafting and use of machinery for model-making had informed her true passion: McKenzie spent the next six years earning a BA(Hons) in Drawing from the University of Arts London and an MFA in Furniture Design from RISD.

Depending on the day, McKenzie wears any number of hats. She is an artist, blacksmith, woodworker, furniture designer, scientist, entrepreneur, teacher, and advocate for women’s empowerment.

Her practice and final objects rely on experimental processes, informed by her meticulous data collection. Serendipitous moments occur during these experiments that lead to the next idea, object, or process development. She tests, records, re-tests, and re-records the technical variables during the speculative period; whereas the objects are the result of a deliberate methodology, they are categorically sculpture. They’re art. They’re design. They’re science in tangible form.

McKenzie opened her shop, McKenzie Gibson Studios, in October of 2017 at the Parker Mills building in Warren, RI. Her plan is to open up her shop space and machinery as a collaborative studio space under the name Silverthorne Hawk Studios.