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By Sally Griffin

Community resources that many people do not know about are the art galleries at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design (RMCAD). The college has bachelor’s programs in nine areas of art and design. An important part of these programs includes providing places filled with creativity and enlightenment. And many of these places or galleries are open to the public. The person in charge of these galleries is Rick Dailey.

As Gallery Director, Dailey curates numerous exhibitions each year in RMCAD galleries. He and his staff support students by installing their work around campus and in their Graduation Exhibition.

Dailey manages five galleries. The Philip J. Steele Gallery, named after RMCAD’s founder, is the largest gallery space. Annually, it hosts five to six visiting artists, three Graduation Exhibitions, and the Annual Student Exhibition, as well as the Bi-Annual Faculty and Staff Show.

The Rotunda Gallery is the second largest gallery and features student, faculty and visiting artist work.

The much-loved Rude Gallery is a petite space that showcases student, faculty, and local artists.

The remaining Alumni and Student Galleries focus on representing the diverse work being created by RMCAD students.

Dailey has worked at RMCAD for almost a year and a half. Before that, he was the Studio Coordinator of Photography and New Media at Anderson Ranch Arts Center. He is also an artist in his own right.

“I am a studio artist in sculpture, photography and installation; I also have a background in graphic design and art education,” said Dailey. “Becoming an artist wasn’t a decision – I am compelled to create.

“My practice allows me to process my social environment by engaging in self-reflection and dialog with others through my art. Creating is how I choose to communicate and, at times, contemplate my own struggles with societal limitations and injustices.

“Becoming a Gallery Director has allowed me to expand my own practice by being in critical dialog with a diverse set of national and international artists.”

Dailey has big plans for the galleries at the college and he encourages the public to join him and his staff at all the galleries and the Visiting Artist, Scholar, and Designer (VASD) Program events. The lineup for the 2017/2018 galleries season began with Denver-based artist collective Hyperlink in the Philip J. Steele Gallery, RMCAD faculty Joshua Field in the Rotunda Gallery, and a collaborative show of Kim Putnam and Tya Alisa Anthony in the Rude Gallery. These exhibitions ended Oct. 5.

The next big multi-gallery opening is slated for Oct. 19: New York-based artist Lauren Clay and Florida-based artist Selina Román in the Philip J. Steele Gallery. In conjunction with Clay and Román, Denver-based artists Paul Keefe and Justin Camilli will be showing in the Rotunda Gallery. These exhibitions will be the finale of the 2017 visiting artist exhibition series. On opening night there will be a public reception from 4 to 7 p.m. to celebrate these amazing artists.

Starting the 2018 gallery season, Dailey is teaming up with Gretchen Marie Schaefer, head of the VASD Program, to bring London-based artist Sophie Clements to campus. Clements’ solo exhibition and lecture will occur on Jan. 16, 2018, in the Mary Harris Auditorium and Philip J. Steele Gallery.

To find out more about the VASD program, visit

Dailey welcomes the local community to attend opening receptions and pop in anytime during the show dates. Exhibitions at RMCAD are free and open to the public. He specifies that exhibitions typically rotate every five to six weeks, so there is always something new for RMCAD students and the public to see.

RMCAD has found the perfect location for their campus and galleries on the old JCRS (Jewish Consumptive Relief Society) campus, located at 1600 Pierce St. If you have never been to the campus, it is the site of the JCRS TB Sanitarium and later the American Medical Center, a unique collection of lawns, gardens and buildings that more closely resembled a college campus than a medical facility, according to RMCAD’s website. The school purchased the site in 2002 and has taken great care to preserve the history of the beautiful campus, while also modernizing each building to serve the evolving needs of their art and design students.

The Philip J. Steele Gallery is located towards the east side of campus near on-campus parking, and the Rotunda, Rude, Alumni and Student Galleries are located in the central part of campus. Visitor parking is available on the north side of the Texas Building, the first building you encounter as you enter the campus. Please enter through the north entrance of the Texas Building

Visitors are asked to check in during normal open gallery hours at the Information Desk located in the first-floor hallway of the Texas building to get a parking and visitor pass. Checking in helps the staff know who is visiting the campus and gives them an opportunity to point people in the right direction.

Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., except for observed holidays. The opening receptions are usually on Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m.

To stay connected with gallery programming and other RMCAD events, visit or Or email the Philip J. Steele Gallery directly at to join the email list.