KCAD Announces Hiring of Inaugural Community Arts Advocate
Kendall College of Art and Design (KCAD) has hired Salvador Jiménez as a Community Arts Advocate. In his new role, Jiménez will develop new relationships with multicultural communities that contain underrepresented, under-served and first generation student populations. Additionally, he will be serving as a liaison to multicultural outreach organizations such as the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology and the Hispanic Center of West Michigan, where he will be making connections and providing networking opportunities to foster these relationships.
“Salvador is someone who can engage our internal community to understand those aspects of our identity that can help us expand our social presence as we further our designs of innovative, managed growth,” said KCAD President David Rosen. “He’s also someone who can help connect our institution to communities at large by interacting with them in ways that are powerful and meaningful.”
Since emigrating from Mexico with his family at the age of 15, Jiménez has built a reputation as a skilled multi-disciplinary artist and a dedicated community advocate. He received a B.A.A. in Graphic Design and Digital Media from Robert Morris University in 2006, and while living in Chicago he served as an art teacher for Yollocalli Arts Reach, a youth initiative of the National Museum of Mexican Art. Currently, Jiménez is in his final year of KCAD’s MFA Drawing program. Under the mentorship of KCAD professor Israel Davis, Jiménez has worked throughout his graduate studies with the Kendall Clay Collective, helping organize opportunities for KCAD students to participate in workshops at the Ox-Bow School of Art in Saugatuck, MI and volunteer at Heartside Art Studio and Gallery in Grand Rapids.
“Salvador is very active in the art scene here in West Michigan,” said KCAD Director of Enrollment Management Sandy Britton. “We’re naturally attracted to what he’s already done as a student, and we know that he will do great things in the future.”
As a Community Arts Advocate, Jiménez will have the opportunity to engage an even wider range of communities with the support of KCAD, which shares his passion for empowering communities through conversation and collaboration.
“It is the obligation of educational institutions to help bring underrepresented communities into power and participation. Salvador has been on this journey himself. He knows what it looks like,” Dr. Rosen said. “There are many people who have not necessarily been engaged in ways that bring them into the larger community and enable them to contribute to culture in a manner that’s supportive of their own aspirations as well as the community’s.”
For his first project, Jiménez traveled to Puerto Rico as a part of a tour of several high schools where he connected with counselors as well as students who are interested in art and design, exposing them to the multitude of opportunities that KCAD and the West Michigan art community have to offer.
“Learning with people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures encourages collaboration, fosters innovation, and creates students that are engaged with each other,” Britton said. “This is a key component in the KCAD Student Success model.”
Prior to working for KCAD, Jiménez ran his own graphic design operation, Jiménez Design Art Studio, and worked as a graphic designer for the Christian Community Development Association of Chicago. He also contributed in different design capacities to the Chicago-based magazines Full Bleed and Egg Deutoplasm and Chicago-based newspaper The Eagle.