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In an expansive and ultra modern facility, the Altos de Chavón School of Design inaugurated its new campus in Santo Domingo on Thursday April 21st. After three decades in its premier location in Casa de Campo, several programs make their way to the capital this Fall to integrate students into the country’s fast-moving and ever growing art scene.
The large, contemporary space will host technical careers in the areas of Visual Communication and Fashion, as well as programs for children and adolescents, and more than 40 courses in Continuing Education for adults in the industries of Architecture, Fine Arts, Cinema, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Photography, Fashion, and Marketing and Advertising.
We were given an expert tour by none other than Adolfo Despradel, Chavónero and alumnus of the Altos de Chavón campus. He walked us through the school’s three floors, which offer rooms for seminars and study, digital labs, a photography studio and darkroom, audiovisual classroom, classrooms for children, library, and areas for administration and exhibitions. The facility as a whole had a very open and industrial structure, with floor to ceiling glass windows that allowed for easy visualization of all the divisions of work, and a dark cement floor that would be widely found in cool design studios in Soho.
The top floor of the school featured an open-air pavilion where guests could look-on at a still-life drawing course. On black paper, students worked with brightly colored chalk to inversely draw out the light of the various objects on display. As we walked through the campus’ hallways, first year self-portraits hung on the walls, and we peeked into more classrooms, several in session, to get a feel for the city’s educational environment. A personal classroom favorite of mine was the sewing lab complete with multiple size dress forms and industrial sewing machines; definitely a necessity for Santo Domingo’s exploding fashion scene.
The urban campus was developed by the architectural firm More & Wiese, and had a collaboration of entities and individuals to contribute to its development, see below for details. Throughout the inauguration, we spotted several familiar faces including Rafael Torres, President of Casa de Campo and Dominique Bluhdorn, President of the Fundación Centro Cultural Altos de Chavón, who led the opening ceremony, along with María Elena Moré, Director of Operations, Adolfo Lucero, Vice Chancellor of the School of Design, and Ailyn García, Manager of Marketing and Communications of the Fundación Centro Cultural. In attendance were also local photographers and fashion designers including Roberto Cadette, Mayle Vasquez and Jose Jhan, who we chatted briefly with about his upcoming line. We are positive these artists and more are looking forward to having a generation of talented students close to their doorstep.
The school, as an affiliate of Parsons in New York, has always had the mission of transforming the teaching of art and design in the Dominican Republic, training a new generation of leaders at local and international creative industries. Most recently, the Altos de Chavón School of Design students displayed their final projects in the Davidoff Studio and several students will be continuing on to Parsons with scholarships. This is the last year after 32 years, the Fashion Group will graduate in the Altos de Chavón campus location. Details on the exhibition which is up until X are coming soon so stay tuned for the immensely creative work that transpired this year under the direction of Marina Spadafora, Director of the Fashion Program.
Congratulations Chavón School of Design for a beautiful new campus. We cannot wait to see the work that unfolds from such a spectacular location. All other programs will continue to remain at the Casa de Campo campus, and we hear there is talk of adding in a Film Program! All great things for this school.
Programs of Study at Chavón Santo Domingo
Marketing & Communication
Advertising & Marketing
Chavon Kids & Teens (4-12 years):
Architecture & Design
Drawing & Painting
Companies & Individuals Supporting La Fundación Centro Cultural Altos de Chavón in Chavón’s New Campus in SDQ:
Banco Popular Dominicano
Centro Cuesta Nacional (CCN)
Ramón Corripio SRL
Singer Americas Trading
Palacio del Cine (Grupo Ágape)
Banco López de Haro
Servicios e Instalaciones Técnicas
Hospital Veterinario Arroyo Hondo
Sherwin Williams / Acabados y Pinturas
Agroindustrial Ferretera, SRL
Revista Archivos de Arquitectura Antillana
Lic. Edgar Barnichta
Sra. Arelis Rodríguez
CHAVÓN | LA ESCUELA DE DISEÑO
Founded in 1983, The Altos de Chavón School of Design offers careers in applied arts in the areas of Fine Arts, Visual Communication and Fashion. This type of intensive two-year program provides the graduates with an associate degree at a technical level, which provides them with a solid education that enables participants to compete as professionals in the field of design and arts both locally and internationally.
Graduates of the School of Design are eligible to transfer directly to Parsons School of Design in New York. More than 2,000 Dominicans and students from around the world have graduated from the School of Design, demonstrating that a solid background in design, parallel to an emphasis on the development of the industry is the best formula for a successful career.
The highly practical and market-oriented curriculum, provides students with a unique set of skills that allows them to be easily inserted into the work environment.
LA FUNDACIÓN CENTRO CULTURAL ALTOS DE CHAVÓN
The Altos de Chavón Cultural Center Foundation, located in Dominican Republic, is a non-profit cultural and educational institution. Since 1983, it has been dedicated to the creation of a multifaceted arts community that includes visual arts, crafts workshops, performing arts and teaching programs.
With its other components—The Regional Museum of Archaeology, the Artists in Residence program, The Gallery, and The School of Design—The Foundation has contributed to the enrichment of the intellectual, artistic, and cultural panorama of the Dominican Republic for more than 30 years.
The Foundation’s work has reached many, with impressive results. Its diverse educational and arts programs, gives Altos de Chavón the cultural dynamism that nourishes and stimulates the creativity of the designers and artists of today and tomorrow.
In 2013, The Altos de Chavón Cultural Center Foundation celebrated 30 years of continuous and invaluable contributions to art and culture in the Dominican Republic giving each artist the opportunity to find their individual expression through constant research and development.