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Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design Celebrates Three Milestones in Three Days

Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design Celebrates Three Milestones in Three Days

(LAKEWOOD, CO) – In recognition of its 60th Anniversary, Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design (RMCAD) extends an invitation to celebrate its collective artistic heritage. The local art and design college will be honoring its founding family with the school’s distinguished Legacy Awards, followed by the college’s Spring 2024 Commencement ceremony, and later, the official dedication of the campus’s fabrication studio, the Clark Richert Memorial Z-Space.

The Legacy Awards recognize individuals of distinction who have made meaningful contributions to the campus, community, and creative industries, and embody RMCAD’s philosophy of lifelong learning in the arts. Today, RMCAD presents the award to the Steele Family and Philip J. Steele (1916-1993), who founded the school in 1963. The ceremony will take place in the evening and will include the display of original art, artifacts, and historical information from the family. Plans for the Texas lobby redesign will be unveiled for the dedication of the “Steele Legacy Hall” honoring its founder and his significant artistic, educational, and historic contributions.

On Friday, RMCAD will celebrate the commencement of its 2024 graduates. This year, 321 on-campus and online students from 44 states will become the next stewards of the college’s legacy. Graduating from 11 academic programs, these graduates will be tomorrow’s professional artists and designers. Recognized for their work, dedication, and creativity, these graduates will join more than 4,000 alumni who have called RMCAD home throughout the past 60 years. 

Following commencement, RMCAD will celebrate the life of local artist and emeritus faculty, Clark Richert (1941-2021). Conceptual artist and co-founder of Drop City Art Collective in Trinidad, Colorado, Professor Richert was the first painting faculty hired at RMCAD (known then as Rocky Mountain School of Art). Richert’s significant and diverse body of work is noted for its innovative approach to art, science, and technology. For RMCAD alumni, students, and colleagues, Clark is not only remembered for his significant artistic contributions, but also his mentorship as a profound, warm, and deeply caring educator. RMCAD will honor Richert’s lifelong work with the dedication of the Clark Richert Memorial Z-Space, the college’s digital Fabrication Lab (FabLab). The multimedia space follows Clark’s inclusive, interdisciplinary, and innovative technological approach to art and design. 

RMCAD recognizes and extends its sincerest gratitude to the local and broader art and design community for its continued support. President Brent Fitch said, “These three events remind us of all the many names that have contributed to the beautiful mosaic that is RMCAD. Our college is proud to honor our past while celebrating the future.” 

To see a complete list of the 2023-2024 RMCAD graduates, click here.

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Founded in 1963, Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design is an accredited institution of higher education that offers degree programs focused on the arts, design, education, technology, and business. RMCAD serves its students from a 23-acre campus in Lakewood, Colorado, but also virtually, as a leader in online education for more than a decade. RMCAD offers courses taught by practicing industry professionals; an intimate learning environment; multimedia-rich online classes; and a beautiful historic campus. The school strives to allow artists and designers to find their voice, discover their own paths, and thrive as professionals.


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