Visiting Artist, Scholar, and Designer Program Explores Art & Inquiry

The Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design (RMCAD) has a long-standing history of artistic inquiry and expression through its multiple academic programs, partnerships with artists and creative businesses, and commitment to expanding creativity in the community and beyond. In that vein, RMCAD’s Visiting Artist, Scholar, and Designer Program (VASD) works to bring interesting and dynamic creators to the historic Mary Harris Auditorium (located on RMCAD campus) under the blanket of one theme per academic year. These individuals speak, dialogue, and converse about topics that they are both experts in, and passionate about. I asked VASD Program Director Gretchen Schaefer to tell us more about the program.

1. Why do you think this program is important to RMCAD, to the community?

The VASD Program fosters and celebrates passionate curiosity by bringing leading national and international artists, scholars, and designers. The Program enriches the RMCAD experience through integration into academics and by offering special, exclusive access to guests to our students. RMACD is pleased to open its doors and offer opportunities for critical dialogue and continued education to the greater community.

2. How do you think this program differs from other “talks” in the Denver-metro area?

Our space, the historic Mary Harris Auditorium on our beautiful, historic camps creates a feeling that is inmate and communal. Also, we are interested in inviting thinkers that have a diverse, critical perspective on contemporary creative life in many different forms. This broad perspective enables us to host everyone from philosophers, critics, and rappers, to cartoonists, performance artists, and graphic designers. We are always focused on art and design, but those are rich fields, and our Program reflects that depth.

3. Why a humor series? How does that tie into art and creativity?

This particular series has focused on the application of comedy, parody, irony, play, and wit as instruments of communication and experimentation in art, design, and culture. As a fundamental element of the human experience, humor crosses nations and histories. Humor exists in a boundary-blurring space where joy and anguish meet allowing creators to reveal the severity and ridiculousness of contemporary life.

4. What’s next for VASD? When can we expect to see your upcoming program and what will the topic(s) be?

More exciting programming with national and international artist, scholars, and designers that challenge and excite our students and community. We will continue to explore how thinkers and makers are developing creative solutions to today’s problems. The fall 2016/spring 2017 theme will be announced in late summer.

VASD closes out its Humor Series with internationally acclaimed artist, writer, and filmmaker Miranda July. This event occurs on Thursday, April 14. Doors open at 6:00pm, event starts at 7:00pm. Click here for more details.


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