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President’s Update: Summer B 2024

Dear RMCAD Family,

Welcome to the Summer term at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. I hope you are enjoying a vibrant and relaxing summer. As we conclude RMCAD’s 60th anniversary, I am filled with immense pride in our students as they continue to amaze us with their creativity and knowledge. To celebrate all of you, we have worked tirelessly to provide phenomenal programming all summer. The RMCAD legacy would not be able to grow without the contributions made by people like you!

We are only halfway through 2024, but our students have already made astounding strides in art and design. In March, our Liberal Arts department hosted the 4th Annual Student Research Symposium, where more than 75 attendees, on-campus and virtually, listened as students and alumni shared their research and artwork. Additionally, we have seen fantastic participation from our online students as they shared images on the RMCAD app during the Pet Photo Contest and the #Designwithpride giveaway. Two alumni, Daniel Logan (Illustration, 2022) and Beki Black-Gliko (Illustration, 2012), returned to RMCAD for a hybrid workshop series to teach current students about making a living as an artist. Joining them as alumni, we celebrated the graduation of 321 artists and designers this May at our 2024 Commencement Ceremony. Students from campus and online modalities attended, representing 11 academic programs and 44 states. We were thrilled to welcome 66 online graduates to the in-person ceremony. This year also marked the first-ever graduate from RMCAD’s newest online program, Music Production. Additionally, RMCAD celebrated the graduation of Paul Onorato, the grandson of founder Philip J. Steel. I invite you to relive the magic of the 2024 Graduation Ceremony on YouTube.

Throughout the summer, we have a myriad of exciting events and opportunities to engage in, including the RMCAD Carnival. Join us for food, games, and community at the gathering on Wednesday, July 3. As we continue celebrating the summer, we’re doing it the RMCAD way – with plenty of art! The Summer 2024 Graduation Exhibition will be displayed in the Philip J. Steele Gallery from Friday, August 9 to Friday, September 6, highlighting the phenomenal work of our summer graduates. Recently, our gallery team has done phenomenal work digitizing the Philip J. Steele gallery. All artwork in the Summer Grad show will also be visible around the globe, along with the Focal Point and Graphite virtual galleries. Additionally, we are thrilled to host the 2024 RMCAD Fashion Showcase, highlighting unique clothing designed by students in the Fashion Design program. This year’s theme “Ineffable” will hit the runway at the City Park Pavillion on Friday, August 16. Check our events calendar as the ticketing and live stream information will be posted soon!

As we reflect on our recent achievements, I am reminded of the important legacies we each leave. Recently, our campus welcomed a record-breaking number of athletes for the 2024 Colfax Marathon. According to 9 News Denver, 25,000 runners, joggers, and walkers participated in this year’s events. However, our legacy here at RMCAD is not only defined by breaking records but also by building memories. Recently, we commemorated the life and work of local artist and former RMCAD faculty member, Clark Richert by renaming RMCAD’s Fabrication Lab to the Clark Richert Memorial Z-Space. Richert, who passed away in 2021, was known for using cutting-edge technology in his artwork. As such, the Z-Space houses 3D printers, a vacuform, and other art and design technology. Finally, you may have noticed RMCAD’s newest gallery in the East Texas Lobby, named the Steele Family Legacy Hall. The Steele family recently received the 2024 Legacy Award, and this permanent exhibition commemorates the contributions of the multiple generations of Steele family members who have helped lay the foundation of RMCAD. Regarding legacies, we want to thank Dr. Colin Marlaire for his service over the last three years as Provost. He will be leaving to spend time with his extended family in California. Jessica Elliott, Dean of Academics, will be supporting RMCAD’s faculty and academic support operations until a new Provost is named. 

Looking ahead, I am particularly proud of our college’s upcoming initiatives to forge a legacy in the community. RMCAD will provide two week-long summer camps to children in our community in collaboration with the 40 West Arts District. We are honored to give back to our community’s youth through education in the arts. The program will run from Monday, July 15 to Friday, July 26.

Summer is a time to relax and reflect, so enjoy some time off. Get outdoors, make art, and be with the people you love. For those enrolled in summer courses online or on-campus, I admire your dedication to your craft, keep up the hard work. We are excited to see you all again in the fall and welcome the class of 2028. In the meantime, remember to make some summer memories.

Stay creative,

Brent Fitch

President, Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design

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