On June 5, 2020, we hosted a Virtual Graduation Exhibition to showcase and celebrate the work of our Spring 2020 graduates in a video format. Attendees had the opportunity to interact in this virtual space to honor our graduates and to rejoice in the community we have built at RMCAD.
Bio: Alex Baldoz is an illustrator who creates narrative pieces motivated by personal experiences and
connections. Storytelling has always been a passion of connection to the external world. Most of his work achieves this through both representational figure drawings or paintings, as well as through metaphorical visuals. Such as visual symbolism involving the use of specific floral and botanical elements, all expressing a journey of time and growth.
Artist Statement:These works represent the culmination of the many connections I have developed through time spent at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. The idea of repetition has almost always played a key role in every idea of mine that has come to fruition. Most importantly the repetitive nature of learning something new with each experience that comes my way. These visuals represent my experience with the many inspiring artworks I have come across as well as the people that I have met whom have both inspired and pushed me to achieve my goals. In a sense of gratitude toward my mentors, peers, and closest of friends I have come across during my time, the visuals represent elements of artistic concepts which I have learned. One of the more important, being symbolism and metaphor, utilizing shapes of silhouettes with floral elements with hidden shapes. The other important aspect being illustrations, which has proven time and time again to be my greatest passion.
Artist Statement: This body of work explores experiences and environments of my past and how memory is a vital component in my development as an artist. I spent my childhood exploring the natural world, oftentimes not a decision I made independently. I saw the vast plains of the Midwest with the encompassing sky and the sound of rattle snakes. I went to the deserts of the west with massive red rocks baked in the heat and eroded by wind to form delicate arches. I remember roads that never ended, mountains that jaggedly cut the sky, and rivers that carved great canyons. I learned about the fragile ecosystems of these places, understanding that the ground beneath me held life that supported everything. The environment became a concept that I wanted to protect, born from the memories of the places I had seen.
When the sun would go down and the western sky would extinguish its colors, I would be sent to go look for UFOs with a pair of binoculars and a flashlight. The empty natural spaces became an ocean of darkness; I was afraid. I learned to find a few constellations in the inky sky; these were my landmarks in an unknown world. Orion, The Pleiades, Ursa Major and Minor- it was here I learned to breathe. As long as the stars revolved in the same patterns, the sun would also rise as it always did. I resisted fear taking hold of me, counting my steps back to safety. All that was needed was time. This work portrays snapshots of what I remember, the picturesque landscapes that formed my passion for the environment, the constellations that always pointed me north as I learned resilience, and resilience from my own mind and the influence of others
Bio: Destaniee Merworth is a conceptual and experimental artist working in Denver, Colorado, and is a recipient of a Bachelors in Fine Arts at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. She has exhibited work in galleries across the Denver metro area, including Juicebox gallery, Recreative Denver, and the Land Yacht. Merworth is a member of the New Genres Collective, a collaborative coalescence of artists who work with improvisation, performance, and installation to navigate new modes of creation. She is a founding member of the Unseen Collective, a group of female artists who exhibit together responding to various unseen forces. These works are often intimate and shifting through each artist’s perspective.
Artist Statement: Merworth is enchanted with the occult, voidspace, and the ritual of dreams. In between the folds of tangible experience and the aether exists a purgatory realm in which the mind, body, and spirit are allowed to meet. This convergence is often unclear, protected, and held in a sacred crevice within. Merworth explores these meeting points through prophetic imagery, visual metaphor, and descriptive colorful allegory. Her large-scale surrealist dreamscapes are explored through light, shadow, color, and texture. Merworth often utilizes daily rituals which enrich her practice and over time craft new narratives. Her work is very influenced by North African and Middle Eastern architecture, Islamic miniaturists, dream sequences, and prophetic visions.
Bio: I am a 3D Environment Artist that specializes in creating game-ready environment models and materials. I love building environments that look amazing and pull the player right into the game. I began my journey into art school with no background in traditional art, and with a crazy amount of effort, I ended school with some amazing artwork and knowledge under my belt. I never expected to reach the level I am at now, and I am so excited to see how far my art will take me.
Artist Statement: The essence of any good plot is found in imaginative storytelling. It is in this place of intrigue that my art connects with the viewers imagination. It was this place of intrigue that first inspired me as I marveled at the storyboard art of Joe Johnston for his work on Star Wars. As an illustrator and graduate at Rocky Mountain of Art + Design, I create art to explore new ideas, and new stories that interest me and ultimately, my audience. The uniquely stylized and surreal compositions of my work are designed to give the audience lots of details to relate and imagine the story.
Artist Statement: My name is Jesse Ryan Crosby, and I am a queer, non-binary transgender, Fine Art Photographer. My work spans a variety of formats, including analog, digital, instant camera, and video art, all of which speak to themes of identity, gender, memory, and place. Photography is a way for me to document, validate, cherish, and reflect. I have used photography as a means to record my life, and to explore my queer identity through self-portraiture. I make photographs that reflect an honest, diaristic, autobiographical essence. I provide the same for my clients. Documenting authentic moments that allow those I photograph to see themselves, and express their identity, their narrative, is my ultimate mission. As an LGBTQIA+ photographer, I provide a platform to be understood, welcomed, seen, and respected for who we are.
My practice is translucent, transparent, gracious, devoted, tender, intense, pure and unfettered. I am here to share stories, as my vision continues to expand and convey the purity of the human condition. My transparency is driven from my heart, and it rings just as true for my client’s.
Bio: Kayla Wewer is a Graduate of Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, with a Fine Arts Degree. She graduated with an emphasis in three-dimensional art, as well as utilizing photography and painting. Kayla is a Colorado native, growing up in a small mountain town with beautiful natural views of the Rockies. She moved to Denver at age seventeen to go to school and work full time. After exploring multiple facets of the fine art world, including curation and education, she fell in love with fine art framing. Since that first day, four years ago, she has engrossed herself into the world of framing, learning a wealth of conservation techniques under a master framer and business owner. Kayla has used her new experiences and materials as a custom framer as inspiration for her work.
Artist Statement: The exploration of substance, texture, translucence, and the refraction of light drives my current collection of sculptural work. By using light as a dynamic visual element, my work is in conversation with artists like James Turrell and Robert Irwin. I unify my breadth of materials and forms of illumination as a way to bring attention to the engineering, scientific makeup, and refractory qualities of the work. I explore light and color spectrums through a multitude of media, including painting and photography. I am inspired by the way light affects our psychology and perception, capturing and manipulating our concepts of illumination. I find that light, both man-made and natural, are awe inspiring and I strive to capture that same wonder in my work.
Bio: Kristen Coats, 29, is an active member of the art & design community in Boulder County, Colorado. Kristen specializes in visual communications, user experience, and brand development. She is a People-to-People Ambassador and a Front Range Community College Alumni. Currently, she does design work for Spectra Logic and just received her BFA at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. In addition to being active in her own art and design community, Kristen travels to various design conferences, battles, and startup week events to further her design knowledge and technique.
Bio: Ky Kennedy is a nonbinary concept artist that specializes in fantasy and horror character design. “My art focuses on character design and creating a diverse cast to the stories I bring to life. While I research the designs, I take into account who they are both in personality and background. I find representation extremely important, many of the genres that I have passion for tend to be generally one-note in who certain roles are for, and I want to use my art to help break this unnecessary mold.”
Artist Statement: “As an artist, I like to explore relationships between different genres in my concepts. My current focus has been fantasy and cyberpunk. Much of fantasy I see is full of magic and power, but deals little with technology. Meanwhile cyberpunk has technological enhancements that have a similar power, but usually only with humans. I think the two pair well together, especially aesthetically, and it’s been fun experimenting with how technology could boost what magic has to offer. I get really inspired by technology and going to hacking conventions. They often have bright LED displays and their code has some really nice color schemes against a dark background. I wanted to combine some of those aesthetics and ideas from there and explore how it would interact with the magics of a fantasy world, which is one of my favorite genres of media. I hope to continue this concept in the future. I think that a world of cyberpunk fantasy creatures would be a really interesting story to work on. There’s so many ways tech and magic can enhance each other!”
Artist Statement: I’ve been an illustrator since I was a child. I grew up loving cartoons and comic books and it soon evolved into me wanting to create art for an audience. I started discovering the career of graphic design, and ever since then I loved the art form and wanted to create work that could be used by people and seen by everyone, from logos, posters, a motion graphic, I love to design things that stand out. My style is centered around comic books, horror movies, and metal music.
Bio: I’m a Graphic Designer who specializes in Photo Enhancement and Manipulation, Logo, Layout, Brand, and Package Design. I’m also a creative consultant for marketing, and advertising as well. These services are only a few that I’m proficient in and the others are Videography, Photography, and After Effects. I also am really involved in the music industry with good insight on what the business entails and how I can enhance it with graphics complimenting the music.
Artist Statement: When creating my self brand, I went through various and drastic changes to my identity but when I created this MC lettermark I felt as if I had finally created something that represented me as a brand.
Bio: Sean Fitzpatrick is a 2D Animator. Sean graduated this past spring from Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design.
Bio: Shania Ortegon is a 2D Animator. Shania graduated this past spring from Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design.
Artist Statement: The fundamental drive for me making art is satisfying a subjective need to create and match that with some actual (statistical/provable) “reality.” I research my topics extensively, almost to the point of absurdum for each project.
I’m interested in eliciting a reaction, a reaction where the viewer isn’t quite sure what their response is, or ought to be. The perfect result for me is when the viewer goes beyond the work itself, and it becomes a starting point for a dialogue rather than an instructive object. I don’t believe that art is in the business of changing people’s minds directly; I think it’s more subtle than that. We are cunning as an artist, in that we are merely informing or exposing the viewer to something that is hopefully unfamiliar, knowledge and familiarity breeds empathy, and empathy itself breeds change. In a world that cannot escape commodity, the very least I can do is attempt to create something that tries to defy and visually exemplifies the notion. I am fully aware that I can only demonstrate this conceptually, not challenge it in any way, as in all art exists within the paradigm and dominance of superstructure.
The material I chose is primarily based on my concept, the advantageous availability, but always with the notion of recyclability. I enjoy the readymade repetition and disposable (hopefully recyclable) nature of my material. I am, as my conceptual modes evolve, appreciative of the malleability, and always changing. To avoid commodification, the work’s and material as well, must, in some way, represent this defiance.
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