President’s Message

Kendall College of Art and Design, a unique part of Ferris State University, has an advantage that other art schools lack.

Besides its 85-year history of quality art and design education and its highly successful graduates, Kendall is at the center of an area internationally noted for design innovation, for entrepreneurship, and for tightly knit communities of caring people. Kendall's location possesses all the resources of a big city—from world-class museums, like the GRAM, UICA, and Meijer Gardens; to the opera, ballet, and symphony; to cool clubs and edgy galleries. It also has the feel of a small town full of friendly people and great natural beauty, like the river that runs through the heart of the city, the nearby shores of Lake Michigan, and the inspiring wilderness of the Upper Peninsula.

With these assets to build on, Kendall College of Art and Design provides a rare opportunity for students to realize their creative potential, which is the most important goal for education today.

Our academic programs provide a unique path for learning, where the talent of each student is individually nurtured. Whether students seek the challenges of the fine arts, applied arts, design, art history or art education, whether they hunger for traditional methods of art-making or the newest trans-media, students will be surprised by how far they come, how fast they excel, and how much they will be able to add to the world through their growing skill and invention. Kendall produces students of great technical expertise, but it also produces students who are also ready to change their professions and equipped to change the world.

Our faculty of practicing and award-winning artists and designers are passionate about mentoring students and helping them understand not only the conditions that will lead to success upon graduation, but that will prepare them to innovate and succeed for their whole life.

Our state-of-the-art facilities continue to grow, thanks to our many friends and supporters. Students enjoy well-resourced studios, classrooms, and shops and use technologies that are shaping the practice of artists everywhere. Through our partnership with Ferris State University, we have recently purchased and re-purposed Grand Rapids’ Historic Federal Building into 30,000 square feet of space for student learning. Lovingly restored and made sustainable, the building boasts stunning new galleries that bring to students and the community nationally important exhibitions.

Those who have labored here as students in the past or fill our studios today are our true treasures. Every wall of our buildings is filled with their work. I invite you to come to meet the extraordinarily talented people at Kendall—our inspiring faculty, students, and staff.

If you cannot visit in person, please explore Kendall College of Art and Design online and learn about what we do. Send me an email if you have any questions or stop by to chat when you visit campus. I am looking forward to sharing this extraordinary place with you.

David M. Rosen, Ph.D.
Kendall College of Art and Design
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