RMCAD was honored to welcome New Yorker Magazine writer and Pulitzer Prize-Winning author Hilton Als as a guest for our Visiting Artist, Scholar, Designer Program (VASDP), this past February. VASDP is a program that unites the entire RMCAD community and opens its doors to the Denver-metro area to learn from and speak with designers, authors, painters and many other artistic professionals.
About the visiting artist
Als is a writer and theater critic for The New Yorker, but has had a long and diverse career as an artist. He has written for many publications, taught as a professor and authored several award winning books. His writing focuses on gender and sexuality in his family, life and community. Most recently, Als has worked as an art curator, his last gallery was a collection of the works of Alice Neel, a Manhattan portraitist.
Painting the scene
During Als’ visit at RMCAD, the artist read aloud his essay, Revealing and Obscuring Myself on the Streets of New York, published in The New Yorker. This essay illustrates the streets of Manhattan and Als’ walk to and from his new apartment. On his walk, Als remembers the people and places he passed earlier in his life. He recalls scenes of his childhood and teenage years, where he would travel between Brooklyn and Manhattan for school.
As he paints the scene, Als dives into gender, sexuality and race, but most importantly love. He realizes that his idea of what ‘love’ is has changed since he was young and walked the streets of Manhattan. He ended the session by discussing why he continues to create art during these difficult times and urged listeners to do the same. Although it may seem emotional to process discomfort and channel that into art, Als argues that being able to make and experience art can better our lives. “We are so privileged that we are given the opportunity to look and feel,” said Als.
Mark your calendars
These deep discussions and topics are just the start of what VASDP has to offer, it exposes students and the community to mentorship, as well as providing a diverse perspective. VASDP challenges attendees to become curious about the many different mediums of art.
RMCAD’s next VASDP will take place on Tuesday, March 8 with visiting artists Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello of Rael San Fratello Studio. Join virtually or in person to learn more about their art and ask questions. If you are planning to attend, please RSVP in advance.
For more information about this event or future gatherings, please visit our events calendar.