As 2016 came to a close, O’More College of Design experienced changes, growth and the planning process for new programs that will launch in the 2017-2017 school year. We sat down with Dr. David Rosen, President of O’More College of Design to talk more about the highlights of 2016 and what’s next for O’More in 2017.
2016 Events for O’More College of Design
The second edition of Robert Hick’s Seriously Seersucker (for which students created seersucker outfits).
A third O’More Show House in the historic Hincheyville neighborhood in Franklin,
Continued support of the Franklin Art Scene, which included the first exhibit of the artwork by noted Nashvillian Tom Siegenthaler, “The Character of a Man.”
2016 brought to O’More’s Board of Trustees eight regional and national notables:
Ginny Caldwell, O’More alumna, former faculty member and the head of interiors at Southeast Venture.
Rick DeVos, an entrepreneur and investor, creator of ArtPrize, and founder/CEO of StartGarden.
Robert Hicks, an active historic preservationist and author of the New York Times’ bestseller The Widow of the South.
Dianne Neal, professor at the Nashville School of Law and former head of the Metro Arts Commission, CEO of the Adventure Science Center, and the Tennessee ethics commissioner.
Elizabeth Nichols, alumna and founder of Taigan.com, co-founder and former CEO of JDN Realty Corporation.
Jonathan Savage, alumnus and founder of SAVAGE Interior Design and formerly of New York City’s David Kleinberg Design Associates.
Kulapat Yantrasast, founder of wHY, an interdisciplinary design practice in Los Angeles, New York, and Louisville.
Matt Largen, President, and CEO of Williamson, Inc.
Internal changes and scholarship funds created
Internally, O’More College of Design changed its organizational structure, processes, and personnel, including a new development office, reorganized business office, a host of new senior officers, and a new Vice President of the College, Amy Shelton, who with nearly 19 years of service is now the longest-serving employee at O’More.
The development office, established in fall of 2015, secured the college’s first endowed scholarship, which honored beloved Interior Design alumna Suellen Craig. Since that gift, two other awards have been started: The Vicki Lee Scholarship and The Marjorie Charles and William Powell Regen III Design Innovation Award.
O’More also adopted a new brand built around the power of design to transform and launched a new logo, both efforts led by Jess Smith, the new chair of Graphic Design. The branding has been named a winner of an international design award. The new look is reflected in a host of pieces, such as O’More’s new website and new college catalog, designed by a student and now alum Lindsay (Teague) Amabile.
O’More College Looked Outward to Engage with the Community
Using the power of design to transform, O’More engaged deeply with the local community and the region. Its partners included High Hopes, Downtown Dickson, Harlinsdale Farm, the Franklin Heritage Foundation, CASA, and Hard Bargain. One of the strongest relationships has been with Williamson County School Fine Arts. O’More has supported WCS Fine Arts head Melissa Dufrechou in building up the Art Throwdown, an active visual arts competition, and brought the Throwdown to the O’More campus.
To make itself known in Nashville, O’More took its Fashion Show to the John C Tune Airport and the graphic design students helped decorate the walls and columns of Bridgestone Arena. Students even designed and painted the graphics on the Predator’s old Zamboni. Before graduation, the visual communications students brought their portfolios to Nashville agencies on a graphic design bus that they created.
O’More received local and national recognition
This was a year of many awards and accolades. O’More’s Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising programs were again nationally ranked, the only programs so ranked in Tennessee. Graphic design students won multiple gold and silver awards at the American Advertising Awards in Nashville, and student Nick Swift was awarded with the Judge’s Choice Award for his Photography Campaign “America.” Peach Malone (Fashion), Paige Rogers (Interiors), Erin Howard (Graphic Design) joined two Belmont University business students as finalists for the Wege Prize, an international design competition on the closed loop economy.
The Interior Design program had its professional accreditation visit from CIDA. In their exit interview, the visiting team members said O’More’s has one of the strongest Interiors programs that they had ever visited. This is not really news about O’More’s oldest program, since O’More’s alums have been so successful and its students win so many national awards, including one student, Naja Shabazz, in Textiles this year.
What’s to come in 2017
Under what might seem like the same O’More, big changes happened in 2016, which will enhance O’More’s legacy and prepare for the next transformation.
2016 began planning for three new programs that will launch between fall 2017 and 2018: Architecture, Industrial/Product Design, and User Experience (U/X).
“The year was filled with changes that all suggest that next year will be filled with change as well, all designed with the power to transform, ” said Dr. Rosen.
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