Exhibitions

SUMMER 2020 VIrtual Graduation Exhibition

On Friday, September 18, RMCAD welcomed the community to our LIVE Summer 2020 Virtual Graduation Exhibition.

RMCAD and Denver Digerati collaborated to present our Summer 2020 Graduating Students’ final projects in a virtual art exhibition through the streaming service Supernova.video (powered by Denver Digerati, a 501 (c) (3) organization).

The exhibition features dynamic videos of students’ work from a variety of disciplines and mediums. RMCAD is using this platform to give students and guests the opportunity to come together as a community in one location and celebrate the hard work of Denver’s newest artists and designers.

Participating Artists

Artist Statement and Mission

As far back as I can remember, I have always had a pencil in my hand. At a young age I found myself with a love of drawing, immersed in comic books and cartoons, and as I got older, I became strongly inspired by music. It was in the combination of music and art in album design that sparked my desire to become a graphic designer. Finding inspiration in the marriage of music and art, the auditory and the visual, is what drives me to create. My methodology and approach in my creative process through design thinking remains the same no matter the project I am undertaking. 

My mission is to provide clients with an excellent design that will help represent them in a
creative, positive, and thought-provoking way. I aim to develop a reputation of quality and
commitment achieved through dedicated and creative design practices while striving to deliver
meaning and purpose in every project. IT ALL STARTS WITH A SINGLE IDEA!

Artist Statement:

My entrancing and surrealistic work reflects on my personal experiences to evoke intense emotional responses ranging from blissful to melancholic. Ideas of self-transformation and existentialism are explored through images of the human figure and the metamorphic nature of insects. Additionally, the imagery of bedding, clouds, and concentric lines guide the viewer to meditate upon their own experiences, empathizing with the elicited emotions. I apply these concepts through the variety of mediums I work in, primarily painting, sculpture, and performance. Recently, soft sculpture has been a particular focus of mine, as it is instinctively comforting and inviting and imitates the nature of the body. Utilizing time as a locus, I freeze moments highlighting gradual and perpetual change, and through performance recording and reiterating time, to visually navigate my relationship to the world around me.

Bio:

Isabella De Santiago was born and raised in Colorado. She began her practice working in 2D; drawing and painting realism and surrealism. When bringing her work into the tangible realm of 3D and 4D, she reconnected with her childhood love for building, performing, and sewing. She is also a part of The New Genres Collective, a performance art group based in RMCAD.

Thesis Abstract:

Softy utilizes soft sculpture and the human figure to explore self-growth, acceptance, and fulfillment. By nature, plush objects resemble bodily forms and are often a source of nostalgia and comfort. The human figure in doll form invites one to interact with the object, to care for it, and to give it life. Even when the doll becomes life-sized it calls for an interaction of some kind, typically used for scares or pleasure. Of course, the type of interaction depends on the person. For example, one may act violently to a doll because harming it will have no repercussions. However, I am focusing on my own relationship with my sculpture. My sensitive and imaginative nature wills me to care for the doll, to dress it up, hug it, talk to it. I realize by caring for a counterpart of myself, I must treat myself in the same loving manner.

I seek to help influence people with my work. The purpose is to inspire young artists to practice art. The term “young” is meant for anyone who might want to express their creativity through art.

Anyone who has a passion for something can become great at it. My own passion is creature design and I want to use that to help inspire other artists. I want to inspire and
encourage people with my work and help them pursue art themselves.

Using knowledge of anatomy and a detailed approach, I produce creative and
believable illustrations to inspire others.

Bio
Carolyn Pooler was born and raised in Kansas City Missouri. In high school, she studied under a surrealist and cartoonist. These early influences shaped her perspective. In further studies, printmaking and publishing have enhanced her artistic practice. She now works in many entrepreneurial modalities of art and technical support for artists and educators.

Artist Statement
Transportation Intellection

Painted by Carolyn Pooler during her Senior Studies at RMCAD under the instruction of Ania Gola Kumor. The painting offers views from many different perspectives. Active with movement, the various textures play a large role in the work. The painting began by creating structure with acrylic paint to lay in the main image. From that process, some forms seemed to emerge from the canvas independently in synchronicity. The cityscape is an illustration of the artists’ daily life. If you look closely, you will see shapes provoked by the artist’s own memories.

The signature wrought iron fence and blue cobblestone featured in the lower hemisphere of the painting are repeated often in Pooler’s body of work. Achieving a glowing light and dramatic shadows were a technical goal when creating this piece. The large scale of this work displays the time and commitment Pooler puts into her work.

Cheyenne Campbell is an artist, whose works are inspired by nature. “It’s my muse and my favorite subject to show people. “My creations are not intended to convey a specific meaning or message, but evoke an emotion from the viewers. How the viewer interprets it is left to his or her imagination”. I’ll do my best to accomplish any project, animation, or painting.  She is inspired by the amazing actions of marine life during storms and how they dive into deeper waters to escape dangerous tides. It always interested me as a child. Watching the water elements in cartoons of fantasia 2000 and Avatar made me want to combine both love for science and art. From my art education in high school 15′ to college 20′, CHE’s World of art is my study of motion in animals and characters. Fine art paintings of the environment and creating backgrounds or layouts for anyone who needs my editing skills.

As a passionate artist, I strive for skill. As an avid storyteller, I seek to spread truth. As a growing illustrator, I aim to merge these two motivations in order to tell my own stories and those of others. 

Recent endeavors include book cover designs, magazine cover designs, album cover art and posters, as well as personal story development in my dark fantasy graphic novel.

My interest in creating visual art is sourced from a deep desire to continually pull apart the layers of social and familial constructs we unconsciously build our lives on in order to more deeply connect with myself and others.  I have found great curiosity in exploring atypical color palettes and extracting inspiration from the people and environments surrounding me in everyday life.  I am also fascinated with the ideas of motion and capturing dynamic moments in a way that walks the edge of awkward and lyrical, I am obsessed with vibe, tone, and texture…that quality of energy that makes viewers feel its presence, and either gasp with wonder or recoil in discomfort. 

Born in the California San Francisco Bay Area, I have spent most of my life moving around the country, as well as living in Mexico and Spain.  I currently live in the Pacific Northwest of the United States with my family where I am the artist/owner of The Copper Wolf Tattoo Studio and Art Gallery.

Artist Statement:

My entrancing and surrealistic work reflects on my personal experiences to evoke intense emotional responses ranging from blissful to melancholic. Ideas of self-transformation and existentialism are explored through images of the human figure and the metamorphic nature of insects. Additionally, the imagery of bedding, clouds, and concentric lines guide the viewer to meditate upon their own experiences, empathizing with the elicited emotions. I apply these concepts through the variety of mediums I work in, primarily painting, sculpture, and performance. Recently, soft sculpture has been a particular focus of mine, as it is instinctively comforting and inviting and imitates the nature of the body. Utilizing time as a locus, I freeze moments highlighting gradual and perpetual change, and through performance recording and reiterating time, to visually navigate my relationship to the world around me.

Bio:

Isabella De Santiago was born and raised in Colorado. She began her practice working in 2D; drawing and painting realism and surrealism. When bringing her work into the tangible realm of 3D and 4D, she reconnected with her childhood love for building, performing, and sewing. She is also a part of The New Genres Collective, a performance art group based in RMCAD.

Thesis Abstract:

Softy utilizes soft sculpture and the human figure to explore self-growth, acceptance, and fulfillment. By nature, plush objects resemble bodily forms and are often a source of nostalgia and comfort. The human figure in doll form invites one to interact with the object, to care for it, and to give it life. Even when the doll becomes life-sized it calls for an interaction of some kind, typically used for scares or pleasure. Of course, the type of interaction depends on the person. For example, one may act violently to a doll because harming it will have no repercussions. However, I am focusing on my own relationship with my sculpture. My sensitive and imaginative nature wills me to care for the doll, to dress it up, hug it, talk to it. I realize by caring for a counterpart of myself, I must treat myself in the same loving manner.

Bio

Jenna Shihady is a 2D Animation major graduating with her BFA from Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. Her focus lies in character design and character animation, but she hasn’t met a medium she doesn’t enjoy. From age 5 her fate as a lover of all things animated was sealed the moment she received the film Spirited Away, and since Jenna has been astounded by the craft and art of the moving image. Jenna is from Arizona, grew up in Grand Junction, Colorado, and moved to Denver to pursue a more focused animation course of study. While working at a local burrito joint full-time she has cultivated her artistic as well as time management skills while also attending RMCAD full-time. Her work is inspired by the interesting individuals she has met and befriended, fantasy, books, film, television, and the beauty of planet Earth.

Artists Statement

Animation has changed the course of my life. It has left me in awe, brought me joy and most of all has changed how I see the world and people. This is the effect I would like to have on those who view my work. My favorite aspect in creating a piece of animation is the pre-production and planning. I love creating stories for characters, utilizing those stories in their design, and giving them personality. I am constantly trying to push the human form and expression of my characters, as well as create characters that are relatable. Seeing a character in media that represents you, an experience you have had, or a way you’ve felt, it has the power to change lives. Every time I pull out my sketchbook, I am working towards that goal of making something visually appealing, but most importantly something that has the power to make a difference.

Jes Hunter is a freelance illustrator specializing in educational and religious art. Her interests include dinosaurs, dinosaurs…and more dinosaurs. She is also enthusiastic about making learning fun and exciting, and is always in pursuit of the next great educational adventure.

Jes is fascinated by Meyers-Briggs typography (INFJ), obsessed with the Legend of Zelda and League of Legends, and in love with parasaurolophuses (that’s a kind of dinosaur…did I mention she loves dinosaurs?). She prefers to work mostly in digital media, but also has a fondness for pen, ink, watercolor, and charcoal.

Jes is a graduate of the children’s book illustration program (BFA) at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design (RMCAD). She is currently continuing her education in pursuit of a master’s in illustration. She is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and frequently and passionately enjoys illustrating her testimony and her love for her Savior. She is passionate about helping others grow and seeks to use her talents to achieve that goal.

Jes currently lives in the hot hot heat of the Arizona desert with her beloved air conditioning unit, her two perfect children (if I do say so myself), and her fluffy, purring not-dinosaurs, Eve and Leah.

Inspired by classic science fiction, noir, and horror, mixed with the counter-culture styles of the 1970’s and 80’s, on top of contemporary ideas. I create worlds where monsters are real and things really do go bump in the night! Dark places, where danger lurks around every corner. Worlds full of campy nostalgia and satire. Where strange, gritty, and memorable characters invade your dreams. Worlds where classic style has not been forgotten and whimsy is still possible.  I will use any media necessary to make dreams become reality. From oil paint to digital, I can make it happen.

Movement and action combined with suspense, are essential components of my work. I wish for the viewer to feel as if they are part of the scene. Atmosphere is the other essential component, I use light, shadow and color in order to set moods and stir emotions. My work conveys the feeling of the moment, what the characters are experiencing and takes the observer into the story. Visual storytelling and world building that leaves the viewer wondering what happens next. I use my knowledge of the old to create something new.

So, imagine that this is your ticket to visit strange and exciting worlds. Meet strange and exciting characters, fight off hideous creatures, pilot an alien vehicle across an unimaginable landscape. It is all possible here! Now, strap in, hold on, and get ready for one hell of a thrill ride, but most of all, get ready to have fun!

I am a Colorado native who loves art, videogames, basketball, poker, superheroes and any movie with Leonardo DiCaprio. During my youth I always enjoyed video games, but my passion for them really grew when I first played Half Life at age 12.  It was a total escape from reality. Every minute detail was created with the intent of making the player feel as if they are a part of this other world.  The story and characters were more interesting than anything I had ever seen on TV or at the theatre. This was something truly magical.  I had not considered a career in videogames until a few years after high school. The Bioshock series made a strong impact on this decision.  I was obsessed with the Bioshock universe. I purchased the concept art books for all three games. The characters were so unique and beautifully drawn. I wanted to be able to create these same characters and worlds. I had a background in graphic design but had not illustrated much since high school. I decided to enroll at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, and put all my focus into character concept art. When I create a character, I try to imagine who I would like to be or meet in a video game. Every character has a story. It is my job to tell the audience this story through illustration. In addition to my Game Art Program, I enrolled in a few elective classes in graphic design.  This once again sparked my interest in design, and I have continued to build on this skill. My dream job is to work at a major gaming studio in California. 

Soft, biomorphic forms coexist with hard edged geometry. Grotesque textures appear disgusting at first glance, but friendly colors like pastels and neons extend an invitation to approach. Raw wood and paper pulp reside alongside manufactured readymades. The discord present in the work mirrors the tension of navigating strict, predictable systems, while inhabiting a fleshy, malleable human body. Repulsive, and enticing. Absurd, yet cute. Familiar, but confusing. The range of contrasting elements makes for a perplexingly awkward experience.  

Pure obsession with tangibility meets with an incessant desire to visualize the weird sensations of being alive. Nonsensical sculptures vaguely imitate aspects of ourselves, and humorously point out how silly operating a body within space actually feels. However whimsical or comical these forms may be, they boldly claim the space they deserve. The wacky work serves as a reminder to adamantly subvert harmful expectations, while embodying one’s authentic self.   

Shieka Leslie, an eclectic art education enthusiast, chooses no to limit herself in use of mediums. Currently, based in Colorado, she uses and embraces her travels and unique background experiences as fuel for her multimedia creations.

Her favorite mediums vary seemingly without rhyme or reason, depending on the mood and season. She appreciates the synthetic digital world as much as she finds beauty in the analog aesthetics of nature. Her attention to detail in every artwork is a reflection of self-exploration, yearning to embrace what is ancient, simply fun, or mingled with intricate consciousness.

Shieka continues to expand her body of work through endless playful experimentation. Motivated by love, light, and vibrance, work usually is often themed with deeper education, self-exploration, and confrontation.

A child at heart, Rosario (Rosie) Gonzalez loves creating playful and inspiring children’s illustrations. Rosie’s process of creating her illustrations include primarily digital applications but occasionally will incorporate traditional media within her digital pieces. Inspired by all types of imaginative works, such as folktales, animation, fantasy, and games, but most especially her childhood. What she most enjoys about children’s illustration is getting to conceptualize creative worlds and characters that she gets to share with both young and young at heart minds.

Growing up on a ranch as the youngest sibling in her family, she learned quickly how to entertain herself. You would find her running around the country side carrying on imaginary adventures to distant worlds. She was certainly not short of creativity, transforming her adventures into the physical through writing and drawing, each were activities she regularly practiced as a child. 

Her love and drive to work in art continued all the way through adulthood, leading her to study Illustration at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD.)  As a student she received RMCAD’S 57th Annual Student Exhibition Bronze Award for her illustration work, earned a Memorial Scholarship for both her writing and illustration, and graduated Summa Cum Laude in August of 2020.  Her hope is that through her illustrations the emerging youth experience the same warmth and fun she gets in creating her pieces and become inspired by the messages that lie within them.

Rusty Godbey (They/Them or He/Him) is a queer painter with a passion for storytelling, the surreal and the terrifying, exploring the relationship between queerness and monsters.

Their work is influenced by their love of horror media, impressionist and surrealist art, oddities of nature, the fiber arts and their own queer identity as a nonbinary lesbian.

They also have a deep love for video games and tabletop role-playing games, which often worm their way into their work in some way or another.

 All in all, if it’s spooky, weird, or very gay, they’re in. 

They mainly work digitally (Clip Studio Paint and Photoshop), but occasionally dabble with watercolor, gouache and acrylic paint.

Rusty currently lives near Memphis, Tennessee with their parents and two cats. 

I love to model, and I love the process and problem solving involved with recreating objects in 3D. I also enjoy 3D sculpting, 3D printing my works, and I am endlessly fascinated with the technology that allows me to bring a virtual concept into the material world. Though I enjoy realism, my heart lies with stylized and low-poly modeling, because I’m a storyteller at heart and I strongly feel that stylized worlds present the most immersive opportunities to tell creative and imaginative stories in an interactive manner. I use my models in visual storytelling, to tell the player more about the atmosphere and history of the world they are playing in. As a child, I always used my imagination to tell stories and make up worlds, and early Playstation-era video games like Spyro and Ty the Tasmanian Tiger were a huge inspiration to me. I loved playing in those colorful fantasy worlds full of different environments and creatures, and these games have influenced my artistic vision. I want to evoke in my viewers the same simple joy of getting lost and playing in colorful, interactive and storied worlds that I felt as a child, and create experiences that will stick with them long after leaving these worlds.

I am a character animator specializing in 3D animation. I grew up in a small town in the Midwest where I first became interested in cartoons, film, and art in general. Knowing little of the process by which animation was brought to life, my curiosity grew over time until I finally began studying animation after high school. I spent most of my teenage years refining my drawing skills, which would later serve as a foundation for my animation understanding. As time went on, I developed an increasingly strong appreciation for comedy among other art forms. Animation can be done in a many different ways with widely varying purposes and styles, but I have always been closely drawn to comedic animation above anything else. I love using animation as a means of telling jokes in addition to stories because a well animated shot has to potential produce an extremely strong visual punchline that brings howling laughter to a multitude of people.

One of my favorite things about animation is how it combines so many different creative disciplines. As an animator, I get to be a performer, a choreographer, a cinematographer, and more. Animation allows an artist to live vicariously through a character in order to bring him/her to life, and it is a process I deeply enjoy. Animation allows an artist to create scenes of powerful drama, intense action, hilarious comedy, or anything else that can be imagined; it is one of the most versatile and dynamic art forms I have ever encountered, and I plan to spend my life studying and practicing it.

NEVER MISS AN OPENING
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