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President’s Update: Fall A 2023

Greetings RMCAD Community,

In 1963, Philip J. Steele founded our community under the belief that a legacy is not what you take, but instead, it is what you leave behind. We hope you start this fall semester by taking the opportunity to consider what you will leave behind for your successors here at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. Whether it’s a gesture of gratitude, a technique, a helping hand, or the start of a lifelong friendship, it’s all in the spirit of why we started this journey 60 years ago.

I would personally like to welcome you as a member of our community, whether you are a student, faculty member, or part of our staff, I look forward to an exciting academic year ahead. You have joined us at an auspicious time, as this year, RMCAD is overjoyed to celebrate its 60th anniversary as a college, as well as 20 years on our historic Lakewood campus and 10 years as a leader in online learning. Over the years, we have proudly built our community with respect, integrity, and a sense of individuality, encouraging each of you to explore the unknown and discover your techniques and processes.

Our recent Radiance Awards, presented on August 31, celebrated this notion of giving back by highlighting the contributions that two famous members of our RMCAD alumni community have made toward the college and creative industry. The awards honored the legacy of Luke Flowers and Xi Zhang. Flowers graduated in 2000 with a degree in Illustration and has since published 80 children’s books, most notably the New York Times Best-seller “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” poems by Fred Rogers. Zhang graduated in 2008 with a degree in Fine Arts and has since received international acclaim, with notable shows including Ornaments at the White House (2012). It was an honor to have both men share their creative wisdom by hosting on-campus and virtual workshops. Their work will be displayed in the Rude Gallery through September 15, along with work from the 2019 Radiance winners, Jenny Morgan and Paul Trani.

I am also thrilled to announce the kickoff of this school year’s Visiting Artist and Designer Program. Alex Da Corte, a Venezuelan-American multi-media artist, will join us on October 17 to discuss the recontextualization of pop culture and consumerism, and Deanna Marsigliese, an Italian-Canadian animation art director at Pixar, will join us on November 7 to discuss storytelling through character and costume design. It’s an honor to welcome such distinguished guests to our campus. You can tune in virtually, but I highly encourage those who live locally to attend in person with fellow classmates. VASD Program events are open to the public, so please invite friends and family as well.

In keeping with our anniversary, we are also proud to present the 60th Annual Student Exhibition opening on October 5 in the Philip J. Steele Gallery. This exhibition is near and dear to our hearts because, over the last several decades, our mission has remained the same – to provide both campus and online students a space to showcase their remarkable work and talent. In keeping with this focus, we are excited to announce the reopening of Spivak Studios, which is currently providing 15 students with personal, on-campus studio spaces to explore their craft and make lifelong connections.

As we continue to look towards the hopeful future of RMCAD, it is gleaming with possibilities, including the introduction of the new certificate in Digital Photography, available both online and in-person. Additionally, this term we inducted the largest Student Ambassador class in RMCAD’s history. These students help so many others by giving their time and expertise both inside and outside of the classroom. 

I would like to close my remarks with a statement of gratitude to all of you who have made RMCAD what it is today. 60 years of history is something we can all be proud of, but more than that, we can all take pride in the future ahead. No matter how long you have been a part of our community, RMCAD’s future is not possible without you because our future is defined by the legacy you choose to leave behind. 

Stay creative,

Brent Fitch


Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design


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