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3rd Piece for Project 2 - WRT 495

C"psule Account

The over7ll go7l for my portfolio h7s ch7nged over the p7st week. I h7ve 7n
internship this semester 7nd in order to get credit for it, I h7ve to t7ke ITR 304,
which is like the semin7r p7rt of the internship. One of the t7sks in this cl7ss w7s
to go on 7n inform7tion7l interview with someone who h7s 7 job th7t we think we
might like to h7ve once we gr7du7te. I interviewed one of my d7dʼs work
colle7gues who is 7 m7rketing copywriter. After t7lking with him 7bout wh7t his
job is like/ wh7t he gets to do, I feel 7s though I h7ve fin7lly settled on deciding to
pursue copywriting 7s my c7reer bec7use there 7re so m7ny types of writing
involved in the job. In this w7y, I w7nt to t7ilor my portfolio by showc7sing pieces
th7t will prove my 7bility be 7 good copywriter.

Before this epiph7ny, I s7id th7t I w7nted to showc7se 7ll different types of writing
bec7use I w7s unsure of wh7t type of writing c7reer I w7nted to go into. In the
inform7tion7l interview, I 7sked Steve (the copywriter) wh7t s7mples of writing he
would include with his resume if he w7s 7pplying to 7 copywriting job. He s7id he
would include his best works th7t showc7se the necess7ry skills to be 7
copywriter, but 7lso some th7t just showed pure person7lity 7nd p7ssion. I 7lre7dy
h7ve my blog post 7bout my f7vorite song which showc7ses my person7lity/
p7ssion, but I w7nt to focus on choosing pieces for this portfolio th7t show
cre7tive, concise, effective 7nd h7ve tot7l comm7nd over the English l7ngu7ge.

Description of Chosen Piece

For the third piece in my portfolio, I h7ve decided to submit 7 “bundle” th7t I
cre7ted in my WRT 302 cl7ss l7st semester. A bundle is 7 collection of works
cre7ted to 7dvertise 7n im7gined product or service. This bundle w7s my third
7nd fin7l one for the cl7ss. It surrounds the im7gined service (more like the
im7gined event) of 7n exhibit 7bout rhetoric 7t RISD c7lled “Closer Th7n You
Think: The Rhetorics of Everyd7y Life.” It includes 7n illustr7ted checklist of the
pieces in the exhibit, 7 w7ll l7bel, 7n 7udio tour script, 7 guestbook, 7 poster, 7nd
7 flyer. For our fin7l in the cl7ss, we h7d to choose one of the three bundles we
m7de over the course of the cl7ss to revise, 7nd I chose this one. In the revision, I
included 7 review from 7n 7rt critic 7nd 7 speech from the museum director on
the opening night of the exhibit. It 7lso includes 7 cover p7ge, t7ble of contents,
7nd 7 reflection of wh7t I le7rned in WRT 302 7s 7 whole.

Represent"tion of Chosen Piece

I compiled 7ll of these documents into one PDF file. I would like to embed it on my
portfolio so th7t the viewer would be 7ble to scroll through the while entire thing
r7ther th7n just h7ve 7 link to it. If it is possible, I would like to m7ke it so th7t if
they clicked on it it would open up into 7 bigger screen for more optim7l viewing.

Justific"tion of Chosen Piece

I chose this piece bec7use I 7m re7lly proud of it. I fell in love with the ide7 of
cultur7l rhetorics/ the rhetorics of everyd7y life l7st semester, so I re7lly w7nted to
m7ke th7t the foc7l point of one of my bundles. Plus, I think these piece would kill
two birds with one stone bec7use it shows potenti7l employers my dedic7tion to
being 7 f7cilit7tor of rhetoric, which is import7nt for 7ll writers. I showc7se my
cre7tive 7bilities in this piece for the sheer f7ct th7t there 7re seven sep7r7te
documents th7t 7re 7ll unique from one 7nother. Some of them h7ve design
elements 7nd if they do, they show off the f7ct th7t I 7m 7ble to st7y on-br7nd by
keeping the s7me fonts, colors, etc. in check. Over7ll, it shows my 7bility to t7lk
7bout the s7me topic from multiple perspectives. According to Steve, it is
import7nt to be 7ble to write in different voices 7s 7 copywriter bec7use no two
7udiences 7re the s7me.

Remedi"tion of Chosen Piece

I re7lize th7t this piece is very long, but I still w7nt to submit it to my portfolio to
show the multiplicity of my writing 7bility. I h7d to 7dd two longer pieces to the
bundle 7s p7rt of the revision, so norm7lly there would only be five documents in
7 given bundle. I would consider t7king two, m7ybe even three documents 7w7y,
especi7lly some of the longer, more wordy pieces. I could 7lso t7ke out the
reflection 7nd cover p7ge, but I think the t7ble of contents is necess7ry to keep 7s
it describes my intended 7udience.
Bundle Three: The Culture of Exhibition

Haley Kiernan

Professor Eldridge

WRT 302

10 December 2018
Table of Contents

1. Title​: ​Closer Than You Think: The Rhetorics of Everyday Life

2. Description of exhibition​: This exhibition challenges the traditional definition of
rhetoric by showing visitors that is not confined only to persuasive speech and writing.
The exhibit shows them that it exists in places they would probably least expect.
3. Venue​: The RISD Museum in Providence, RI.
4. Selection of objects​: In this display, I wanted to convey the idea that rhetoric reaches far
beyond its traditional limitations. I choose to separate my exhibition into four sections:
“Appearance,” “Gestures,” “Propaganda,” and “Nontraditional Speech.” “Appearance”
contains depictions of various outfits, meaningful tattoos, and political decoration. All of
these things convey messages to us without necessarily speaking. “Gestures” contain
depictions of various gestures that are nonverbal, yet speak volumes. “Propaganda”
contains some of the most famous examples of propaganda from the US, as they
internalized identity in many people during the time of their creation. And finally,
“Nontraditional Speech” contains speeches by Emma Gonzalez and Lou Gehrig. Both
speakers defied traditional rhetoric by including unexpected tactics to convey their
5. List of documents​:
a. Illustrated checklist
i. Distribution/ placement
1. Given to users viewing exhibit so they can reference it to make
sure they have seen every object there
ii. Audience
1. Whomever is viewing the exhibit (college-aged student and up)
b. Wall label
i. Distribution/ placement
1. Next to “I didn’t know I had to wear gender” photograph
ii. Audience
1. Whomever is viewing the exhibit (college-aged student and up)
c. Audio tour/ user experience script
i. Distribution/ placement
1. The audio tour would be a recording on an iPhone. (The user
experience part is just to give an idea how I imagine the exhibit
being set up.)
ii. Audience
1. Whomever is viewing the exhibit (college-aged student and up)
d. Guestbook
i. Distribution/ placement
1. Outside the exhibit
ii. Audience
1. Whomever is viewing the exhibit (college-aged student and up)
and wants to leave a comment
e. Banner
i. Distribution/ placement
1. On the outside of the museum
ii. Audience
1. Anybody driving/ walking past the museum
f. Poster
i. Distribution/ placement
1. All around Rhode Island, especially in Providence (coffee shops,
theatres, libraries, etc.) and at local colleges
ii. Audience
1. Patrons of said businesses or institutions/ college students
6. Word count​: Approximately 3,000
Kiernan 1

Haley Kiernan

Professor Eldridge

WRT 302

19 December 2018

Reflective Introduction

Before taking this class, I do not was not aware of or in touch with just how much writing

affects culture. As a Writing and Rhetoric major, it is easy to get caught up in only the writing

aspect of it. I was so used to just writing essays that I was a little bit surprised when I learned

about all the different types of modes that can be used to convey writing. This class taught me to

transform my writing in such ways that it is useful to other people.

In each section of this course, I learned something new. In “The Culture of

Consumption,” I learned just how manipulated we can be by advertisements. When I was trying

to think of ways to promote my Commuter Survival Kit (the product I invented and created my

first bundle around) it got me to thinking about the way things are advertised to me. As I was

brainstorming ways to advertise it to college students, I was also listening to some music on my

Spotify radio when an ad came on about Chegg, a company that sells textbooks at very cheap

prices. It got me thinking to how Spotify figured out my demographic based on the music I

listened to and then used that to advertise a service I very well might use. I have become so much

more aware of these consumer aspects.

In “The Culture of the Public Sphere,” I learned how just how important and lucky we

are to have digital platforms where people can have all kinds of conversations. We can talk to
Kiernan 2

people who are clear across the other side of the world about mutual interests. Although

sometimes these conversations may not be fruitful and lead to arguments, it creates strong bonds

between people most of the time. When I worked with Will on our bundle about the Flat Earth

debate, I made sure to include both sides of the conversation. Writing shared through blogs,

Twitter, online forums, etc. can create amazing opportunities for virtually anyone who has access

to a computer.

Finally, in “The Culture of Performance,” I learned a lot about the “in-betweeness” of

rhetoric. I realized that words are not the only means through which a person say a lot about

themselves. I especially enjoyed watching the documentary called “Jim and Andy: The Great

Beyond,” which portrayed Jim Carrey going fully method to get the character of Andy Kauffman

spot on. In order to do this, he pretended he was Andy for the whole entire time period filming

“Man on the Moon,” even when the cameras were not rolling. You can learn a lot about a person

based on the way they act, dress, interact with others, and so on.

The last unit in the class was especially inspiring to me. In fact for my third bundle, I

decided to create an exhibit all about non-traditional rhetoric. In order to build upon it, I decided

to create a review of the exhibit. I did it from the perspective of a stereotypical “art buff” --

someone who applies all sort of technical terms as their method of critiquing art. The whole idea

of my exhibit is to break down barriers, and not just about what people think rhetoric consists of,

but the way people see themselves. I also created a speech given by the director of the museum

on the night of a preview the exhibit for special patrons/ donors to the museum. They are the

ones help to keep the museum up and running, and the director explains that cultures like mine

allow for more visitors to the museum, as it is extremely inclusive.

Kiernan 3

All in all, I believe that this bundle in particular has really helped me in become more

aware of my own non-verbal communication of rhetoric. I never really considered how my

actions and appearance translate to other people. I wanted to call attention to this, because

regardless if he or she is careful/ aware about it or not, everybody does this. I want to convey the

idea that people do not need to be gifted writers in order to communicate their thoughts and

ideas. This can be done through so many avenues. People are not one-dimensional; in fact, they

are multimodal. It is important to pay attention to the choices people make about the way they

dress or the way they behave in certain situations. While it can be difficult to look beyond the

text printed on a page, it is much easier to understand each other when we tune into the

non-verbal ways that we express ourselves.

This was a wonderful class. It has opened my eyes to seeing the bigger picture around

me, and has inspired me to do work to help open the eyes of others.
Illustrated Checklist
I didn’t know I had to wear gender

Rebels Market
June 29, 2018
Edited photograph

Members and supporters of the LGBTQ+ community believe that rigid gender norms are

completely bogus. They challenge that gender is a “made-up” institution that forces people to

feel as though they need to behave within the role that is associated with their sex. Gender roles

are accepted over time when people continue to do the same things over and over again. To

break away from these norms, many people have decided to dress ​androgynously.​ To be

androgynous i​ s to dress in such a manner that it becomes hard to discern whether one is a male

or female. The models shown in the photograph are wearing articles of clothing and short

hairstyles that would typically belong to men, but are simultaneously wearing makeup, which is

a practice typically only practiced by women. Their appearances are worth a thousand words.
Closer Than You Think: The Rhetorics of Everyday Life

The Audio Tour/ User Experience

*A visitor walks up to the place where the exhibit is being held. A museum worker hands them
an iPhone with headphones, containing an audio tour of the exhibit. Groups of only 10 people are
allowed in at a time. He/ she makes sure the visitors are all set, and tells them to hit “start” on the

Narrator’s voice​: Welcome to the Rhode Island School of Design’s special December exhibit,
Closer Than You Think: The Rhetorics of Everyday Life​. Before you begin the tour, please be
aware of the exits in the room in case of emergency. The door you will be entering under can be
used as an exit in addition to the two doors in the rear of the room. Restrooms are to your left and
the gift shop is located on your right. When you are ready, and proceed to the entrance of the
exhibit. Once you step into the hallway, hit “next.”

*User enters into a dimly lit hallway. It is completely undecorated, save for the very end of the
hallway, where Raphael’s ​The School of Athens​ stands alone with a single spotlight upon it. A
burgundy colored velvet curtain hangs behind the painting. Another museum worker stands off
the far right, right where the curtain meets the wall.*

Narrator’s voice​: Proceed to the painting you see at the end of the hallway. There are rails on
either side of the hallway in case you need assistance walking. When you reach the painting, hit

*User approaches and arrives at painting.*

Narrator’s voice​: The exhibit you are about to see challenges the institution of traditional
rhetoric. But let’s be real for a second: Do you even know what rhetoric is? The painting you see
before you was created by Raphael in 1511. ​The School of Athens​ depicts the two of the most
famous philosophers in the world, Plato and Aristotle. It was during the time period of Ancient
Greece that man began to think about the power of their words. To them, rhetoric became the art
of using speaking or writing as a means of persuasion. However, this leaves out a very big part of
the picture. As you walk through the exhibit, remember to ask yourself what you already know
about rhetoric. When you are ready, proceed to the right where the museum worker is standing.
When they allow you into the next section of the exhibit, hit “next.”

*User approaches the museum worker. He/ she sweeps back just enough of the curtain so that the
user can get by. Once the pass the curtain, they find themselves in a large circular room that is
very bright and well-lit. There are four separate sections of the exhibit, all demarcated by signs
hanging overhead from the ceiling. Going counterclockwise, the sections proceed as the
following: “Appearance,” “Gestures,” “Propaganda,” and “Nontraditional Speech.” Each section
is roped off from the other.*

Narrator’s voice​: Proceed to the left to the first section called “Appearance.” As soon as you
arrive, hit “next.”

*User approaches and arrives at “Appearance” exhibit.*

Narrator’s voice​: Here, you will see 6 pictures, all having to do with Appearance. Feel free to
read the wall labels on your own, or hit “Wall labels” on the screen to hear the audio of them.
Once you look at each picture, hit the “Comparisons” option. We will discuss the similarities and
differences we see between these items.

*Going from left to right, user views ​Kate Middleton compilation​, ​I didn’t know I had to wear
gender,​ ​Feminist fashion,​ ​Tattooed arms,​ ​Semicolon tattoo,​ and ​Trump supporter​ pieces. After
listening to each wall label, user listens to the comparison between ​Kate Middleton compilation​,
I didn’t know I had to wear gender,​ and ​Feminist fashion.​ (Kate Middleton’s sensible yet stylish
outfits convey that she is a very put together woman -- and they also convey her femininity. The
androgynous do the exact opposite by challenging gender norms via clothing. The women in the
feminist fashion photo are wearing pieces that state their beliefs with very few words/ none at
all.) Finally, they listen to the final part of the exhibit that describes how all of these appearances
convey unspoken words about those people involved.*

Narrator’s voice​: Proceed to the right to the next section of the exhibit called “Gestures.” As
soon as you arrive, hit “next.”

*User approaches and arrives at “Gestures” exhibit.*

Narrator’s voice​: Here, you will see three pictures, all having to do with gestures. Feel free to
read the wall labels on your own, or hit “Wall labels” on the screen to hear the audio of them.
Once you look at each picture, hit the “Comparisons” option. We will discuss the similarities and
differences we see between these items.

*Going from left to right, user views ​Man crossing arms​, ​Woman with open arms,​ and
Manspreading.​ After listening to each wall label, user listens to the comparison between ​Man
crossing arms​ and ​Woman with open arms​. (This describes the communication of body language
- the man crossing his arms is totally unreceptive as to where the woman with the open arms
totally is.) Finally, they listen to the final part of the exhibit that describes how all of these
appearances convey unspoken words about those people involved.*

Narrator’s voice​: Proceed to the right to the next section of the exhibit called “Propaganda.” As
soon as you arrive, hit “next.”

*User approaches and arrives at “Propaganda” exhibit.*

Narrator’s voice​: Here, you will see three pictures, all having to do with propaganda. Feel free
to read the wall labels on your own, or hit “Wall labels” on the screen to hear the audio of them.
Once you look at each picture, hit the “Comparisons” option. We will discuss the similarities and
differences we see between these items.

*Going from left to right, user views ​We Can Do It!​, ​I Want You​, and ​American Progress​. After
listening to each wall label, user listens to the comparison between ​We Can Do It!​ and ​I Want
You.​ (This comparison talks about how both posters were used as means for recruitment into the
U.S. military, but for different audiences and times.) Finally, they listen to the final part of the
exhibit that describes how all of these appearances convey unspoken words about those character

Narrator’s voice​: Proceed to the final section of exhibit, called “Nontraditional Speech”. As
soon as you arrive, hit “next.”

*User approaches and arrives at “Nontraditional Speech” exhibit. Instead of pictures, there are
three small flat screen televisions on the wall.*

Narrator’s voice​: In this final exhibit, take out your headphones and plug them into the
televisions, going from left to right.

*User plugs headphones into first television and views Emma Gonzalez’s March For Our Lives
speech. After this, he/ she plugs headphones into second television and view Lou Gehrig’s last
day at Yankee Stadium. The third television compares these speeches to persuasive speeches.
Emma Gonzalez chose silence for most of her speech and Lou Gehrig defied the expectations of
his farewell speech by putting a positive spin on it.*

Narrator’s voice​: You have completed viewing the exhibit. Pause and reflect on what you
thought about rhetoric previously. What do you think about it now? Before you leave, walk to
the center of the room. Take a look around. Do you notice how it much larger and brighter
compared to the hallway that led to the exhibit? We hope that your perception of rhetoric now is
has gone under a similar transformation. Rhetoric is everywhere: when you can make meaning of
something, you have just experienced the workings of rhetoric. Contrary to popular belief,
everyone has the power to persuade, and in thousands of ways. We hope you enjoyed this

To exit, please approach the museum worker near the curtain again. Please remember to sign the
guestbook upon leaving.

*User approaches museum worker. The worker fully pulls curtain aside. The once dimly lit
hallway is now fully illuminated as well.*
~ Guestbook ~
Please leave any comments and suggestions so that we may continue to provide
interesting and thought-provoking exhibits. Include your name and date of visit.
Thank you.

What a lovely and unique exhibit! I have never given rhetoric much thought 
before now. I actually never really understood what it meant when someone 
would ask a rhetorical question. When I encountered the painting of Plato 
and Aristotle, that sounded about right to me that they created rhetoric. I 
never thought about the fact that the little choices we make every single day 
are acts of rhetoric. For example, I love wearing bright colors and mismatched 
patterns. I never consciously realized that my appearance correlates with my 
eccentric, bubbly personality. This exhibit was extremely thought-provoking. It 
has inspired me to look beyond the obvious to see what messages we are trying 
to send each other. 
Chloe Martinez, December 2, 2018 
As a Writing and Rhetoric major at URI, I knew I absolutely had to come to RISD to see 
this display. I was not disappointed in the slightest. It felt as though I was walking through 
a summarization of my WRT 360 class (Rhetoric for Writing Majors.) At the beginning of the 
class, our professor asked us what we thought rhetoric was and where it started it. Many of 
us shared visions of men in Ancient Greece wearing togas and grape leaves on their heads. 
The rest of my classmates were completely stumped. Here we were, all Writing and Rhetoric 
majors, with absolutely no clear idea about the latter part. We were all in that “dark tunnel” 
like the dark hallway in the beginning of exhibit the semester. When we were exposed to the 
idea that rhetoric was all around us, it truly was like pulling the curtain back to a bright, 
enlightened future. RISD, please continue putting displays on like this. The word “rhetoric” 
scares a lot of people. Once they realize that it is something they engage in every single day, 
they could really start to use that power for good. I give this exhibit a 10/10! 
Cameron DeLuise, December 4, 2018 
I never knew that tattoos were considered to be rhetoric! Maybe if I was
able to convince my parents of this they wouldn’t make me cover up my
tattoos for family parties. I have a quote from H​ arry Potter​ on my arm:
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers
to turn the light on.” As silly or trivial as it might sound to others, reading
Harry Potter​ really helped me while I was struggling with depression. That
one quote was the only thing that kept me going some days. Now I am
healthy and happy again, but I still have off days. My tattoo is a reminder
that I can get through anything! Thanks so much for putting up this exhibit.
I think it will help people in more ways than you could possibly know.

Caleb Johnson, December 5, 2018

What a cool exhibit. Honestly, I didn’t think I was going 

to like it at first, especially when I saw ​The School of 
Athens​ painting! I was so surprised when I saw all the 
different sections in the exhibit, especially the “Gestures” 
one. I would have never considered body language to be a 
part of rhetoric until now, but it really makes sense. 
Whenever I get mad at my boyfriend, I make sure he 
knows. My silent treatment is probably enough of a sign, 
but I refuse to let him touch me. One day we were 
driving and I asked him to stop at Starbucks, but he 
refused. Normally he’ll rest his hand on my leg or hold 
my hand, but I pointed my legs toward the door, crossed 
my arms and refused to look at him - I stared straight 
out the passenger window. I don’t need to scream at him 
to let him know I’m mad. (For any of those wondering, my 
body language combined with the cold shoulder worked - 
he turned around and got me my favorite Pumpkin Spice 
Latte. I let him hold my hand again!) Gestural rhetoric 
for the win. 
Claire Taylor, December 7, 2018 
I really liked this exhibit, but I was a little confused about the 
“Propaganda” part of it. I feel like the whole vibe of the display 
conveyed the idea that there was really more to rhetoric than just 
being persuasive speech and writing. Isn’t that exactly what 
propaganda is? My only recommendation to better the exhibit is to 
clarify upon this point. 
Annette Wilson, December 8, 2018 
This exhibit was awesome! I’m a huge history buff, but even 
the concept of rhetoric to me is a bit daunting. I couldn’t help 
but notice Annie’s comment above about the propaganda 
display in the exhibit, and I think I can weigh in on this a 
little bit. When those posters were published, the people who 
actually lived during that time would not have seen those 
messages as actual propaganda. What is important about the 
pieces being shown is that it internalizes something different 
in each individual. The “We Can Do It!” poster (aka Rosie the 
Riveter) encouraged thousands of women to join the 
workforce during WWII. It gave them a newfound sense of 
power and belonging that they never would have been able to 
if the men were away. When the war was over and men came 
back to take their jobs over, women were expected to fall 
right back into their domestic roles. While most did, they did 
not forget how it felt to be independent and self-sufficient. 
So while the selected images might be propaganda to us in 
2018, they had totally different implications at the time of 
their creation. Hope this helps! 
Brett Davis, December 8, 2018 
I came to the museum today as an exhausted stay-at-home mom who 
needed some alone time. Now I am leaving as a revived rhetorician, 
excited to start working on my blog again. For a while I was stuck, 
sure that I couldn’t publish any of my writing unless I felt it was 
perfect. This exhibit reminded me that no matter what I put out there 
in the world, it matters. It’s all important. It’s easy to forget 
sometimes, but we are all important in this word. Thank you so much, 
RISD, for displaying a much needed reminder. 
Amanda Cooney, December 9, 2018 









“More than just words - the Rhetorics of Everyday Life”
by Pierre Salisbury
December 18, 2018

When I visited the RISD museum earlier this month, I begrudingly went to go visit the

brand new exhibit called “Closer Than You Think: The Rhetorics of Everyday Life.” It was

created by a URI college student named Haley Kiernan, who is a double major in English and

Writing and Rhetoric. It has gotten rave reviews from visitors, but I was the first critic to view

the exhibit. Although I am ashamed to say it now, I was not expecting much of it. I thought it

was just going to be some sort of weird political statement.

In order to tour this exhibit, you must wear a headset, as it is set up as an audio tour.

Upon entering the exhibit, I walked down a tiny dark hallway toward a single painting. It was

Raphael’s “School of Athens.” Seeing as this whole exhibit was supposed to be about rhetoric, I

found it to be fitting, but I could already feel a yawn coming on. As I approached the museum

worker who pulled the curtain aside for me to go into the rest of the exhibit, I could only imagine

what was in store for me. Busts of Ancient Greek philosophers? Theory behind the “thinking

man” pose?

Instead of this, I entered into a large round brightly lit room. The exhibit was divided up

into four separate sections: “Appearance,” “Gestures,” “Propaganda,” and “Nontraditional

Speech.” The audio tour directs and takes you through each exhibit. I found myself totally

engrossed as the narrator explained and compared each piece to the other. When I was finished

with each section, I could not believe how impressed I was or how sad I was that it was over.
The exhibit truly does explore the rhetorics of everyday life. For those of you like me

who thought rhetoric was something that only reached concerned persuasive speaking and

writing, come to find out we were completely wrong about it this whole time. I came away from

this exhibit truly enlightened. The rhetorics of everyday life are how we present ourselves in the

world, by the way we dress, whether or not we choose to have tattoos, the way we use

non-verbal gestures, and so on and so on. After I left the museum, I went on a long car ride, as I

usually do when I need to do some serious thinking. I looked into myself and thought about all

the things I do to present myself to others. I came to the conclusion that even though I really do

not want to appear stiff and snobby to others, the way I dress and the way I hold myself in fact

convey that I do. It inspired me to stop buttoning my collar all the way up to my neck and not

wearing dress shoes every single day. It occurred to me that if I want to convey a certain image

about myself, then I have to consciously make the choice to change that. I feel so lucky that I am

able to do so.

Do yourself a favor and visit Haley Kiernan’s exhibit. You will not be disappointed in the

least -- and who knows? You might end up discovering who you truly are afterward.


Perry Salisbury

P.S. My first name, Pierre, fits perfectly with the stereotype of art critic that I want to break away

from outside of work, so from now on I will be adopting the nickname of Perry instead!
Speech for “Closer Than You Think: The Rhetorics of Everyday Life” 
November 24, 2018 
Good evening fellow patrons of the arts!  
My name is Bonnie Wright. I am the director of the Rhode Island School 
of Design Museum. It is a pleasure to see all of you here tonight. 
You have all been invited to preview a very special exhibit before it opens 
to the public in December. It is unlike any other exhibit we have ever had 
the pleasure to hold here at the RISD museum. 
The exhibit is entitled “Closer Than You Think: The Rhetorics of Everyday 
Life.” Now a lot of you might be thinking, “What does rhetoric have to do 
with art?” This is a good question. Many of you were probably expecting 
an exhibit about Impressionism or something of that sort. Before I attempt 
to answer this question, let me give you a little background on how this 
exhibition came to be. 
The creator of this exhibit is Haley Kiernan. She is a college student 
double majoring in English and Writing & Rhetoric at URI. She pitched 
the idea of her exhibit to me, not ironically using a lot of persuasion 
tactics to get me to OK it. Surprisingly, to me anyway, Haley explained 
that rhetoric is not only confined to the art of persuasive speaking and 
writing. According to her, rhetoric is everywhere. In fact, rhetoric is 
Now, you might be a little skeptical like I was at this notion. How can 
that possibly be? Hopefully I can say this now without offending Haley, 
but I thought she was just some crazy liberal college kid when she began 
spewing these ideas at me! Yet she is not. The only thing unique about her 
is that she has been totally enlightened through her education of rhetoric. 
Her exhibit can also provide enlightenment for you all. 
In this exhibit, you will see that rhetoric is not always verbal. In fact, a 
majority of it is nonverbal. The way we dress ourselves, the way we use 
gestures and the way we behave in given situations? That is all rhetoric. 
The tattoos that your teenager came home with a few weeks ago? Believe it 
or not, those can be considered rhetoric too! 
When you walk away from this exhibit, you will come away with a totally 
different perspective of yourself. It is extremely thought-provoking. Not 
only will you be able to understand yourself more, but you will be able to 
understand others. Although this exhibit may confuse you about the 
definition of rhetoric itself, acknowledging the fact that all of our choices 
are rhetoric is definition enough. 
I want to stress how important it is for RISD to continue holding such 
inclusive exhibits. Regardless of who you are, you can relate to this 
exhibit. If our main goal is to create a community where every person 
feels welcome and included, we must continue presenting exhibits that 
encourage this type of behavior. 
So tonight, ladies and gentlemen, I ask you to enter Haley’s exhibit with 
an open mind. If you do so, you will leave the museum a better person. 
Enjoy the exhibit and please join us for light refreshments afterward.