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Alumni Hall of Fame

The Art Institute of Colorado Hall of Fame recognizes and promotes the achievements and contributions of outstanding graduates to their communities and industries. Our newest Hall of Fame inductees will be announced here soon.

Nominee Criteria

  • Graduation from The Art Institute of Colorado eight years from nomination date and beyond.
  • Progressive, successful, high-level experience in a field that represents programs--past and present--offered by the school.
  • Recipient of professional recognition, awards and accolades.
  • Demonstration of increased level of responsibility, creativity or production.
  • Philanthropic spirit in the form of a desire and effort to give back to The Art Institute of Colorado, as well as the community.
  • Nominee should be a current professional in his or her field of specialty.

Past inductees include internationally-recognized professionals-leaders in their respective fields-who admirably represent the school with a philanthropic spirit in the form of a desire and effort to give back to The Art Institute as well as the community at large.



This year's Hall of Fame honorees from The Art Institute of Colorado represent a wide variety of industry expertise and acclaim. The inductees include Tim Meehan, President of 21st Century Graphics; Phillip Atencio, Art Director of Net Devil; Mark Mock, President of Mark Mock Design; and Neal Aspinall, The three were recognized at a ceremony and celebration at the Colorado History Museum on September 8th, 2007.


The Art Institute of Colorado Announces 2006 Hall of Fame Inductees

This year's Hall of Fame honorees from The Art Institute of Colorado represent a wide variety of industry expertise and acclaim. The inductees include Matt Coffman, founder of a respected graphic design studio; Denver executive chef Elise Wiggins; and Robert Caldwell, technical director of a nationally known architectural firm in Baltimore. The three were recognized at a ceremony and celebration at The Art Institute of Colorado on Saturday, Sept. 9.

Bob Caldwell, CSI, CCS (Interior Design 1988) is a senior associate and technical director at Gensler Architecture, Design & Planning in Baltimore, MD. He worked as an interior designer for three Baltimore firms from 1988 to 1998, designing commercial and residential projects that included Cal Ripken's residence, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Farmington Country Club. He joined Gensler in 1998 and managed national rollouts for Omni Offices and Regus Business Centres. Bob joined Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) and subsequently passed the exam to become a Construction Documents Technologist, and also later became a Certified Construction Specifier. He has taught construction documents classes for CSI and the Community College of Baltimore County. In 2002, he won the Education Award from CSI's Middle Atlantic Region for organizing and leading a series of lectures on Avoiding Material and Design Failures. His community service includes pro bono work for numerous clients under the auspices of the Baltimore Neighborhood Design Center. Awards from that group include a commendation for outstanding community service in April 2000 and induction into the Volunteer Hall of Fame in 2004. Bob says, "In my career I have been fortunate to have many opportunities to give back to the community in the form of pro bono service. As a technical director, I am spending more and more hours training young architects and designers, building their confidence as they take on greater project responsibilities. I feel strongly that as professionals we need to recognize not only those whose design accolades bring them into the spotlight, but also those who bring compassion and zeal to their work."

Matt Coffman (Visual Communications 1997) is founder and president of Anabliss Graphic/Design in Denver. With a variety of work that includes the University of Colorado at Denver, Coors products, The Children's Hospital, the National Football League and Johns Manville, Anabliss continues to make an impact at a local, regional and national marketing level. Matt began his design career at age 15 after a computer technician stumbled upon his graphic work and encouraged him to send a résumé to a local employer. After high school, Matt landed at The Art Institute of Colorado and utilized his industry experience to freelance between classes. He ultimately received the award for AIGA Best Student Portfolio and soon after started Anabliss in his basement. Matt says he dutifully interviewed with approximately half-a-dozen design firms after graduation, but was devoted to continue his own enterprise. In 1998, Matt's identity package for Anabliss was published in Print's Regional Design Annual and in Print's Best Letterheads & Business Cards 6. With a background in print production and an eye for quality, Matt ensures his clients' expectations are always met. In 2006, the firm celebrates 10 years in business along with industry acclaim. To learn more about Anabliss, visit

Elise Wiggins (Culinary Arts 1998) is executive chef at Hotel Monaco's Panzano restaurant in Denver. Since accepting the position at Panzano, the venue has achieved four out of four stars and rated in the Top 5 Restaurants in Denver by 5280 Magazine. Panzano was also named Top Italian Restaurant by the Rocky Mountain News, and listed in the highest honor category, "To Die For," by the Gabby Gourmet restaurant critic. Elise was honored as 2006 Chef of the Year by the Colorado Chefs de Cuisine, and the Cook Street Fine School of Cooking in Denver created a scholarship in her name. Growing up in Monroe, Louisiana, her first memories were of family and food. Whose gumbo was best? Who boiled the best crawfish? Elise's mom was from New York and spent her teenage summers in Northern Italy. She prepared regional dishes for the family and included a geography lesson with the meal—it was a big part of Elise's inspiration. After a nationwide investigation of culinary schools, Elise enrolled at The Art Institute of Colorado and graduated with honors. Several kitchen jobs in Denver included a stint as chef at Bella Ristorante, a busy Southern Italian restaurant in LoDo. After graduation, she brought "Italy to a little corner of Puerto Rico" at the Westin Rio Mar in San Juan, according to one reviewer. She went on to become opening chef at Capriccio Restaurant in the famous Peabody Hotel in Memphis, managing a staff of 30, and she created a seafood dinner there for former President Bill Clinton. Returning to familiar Denver, in addition to media accolades, Elise is well known for volunteering her time and cooking talent with numerous community organizations and fundraisers. She says, "I take great pride in my education that I gained at The Art Institute. I know that with that as a base and my passion as my fuel, the world will truly be my oyster—or in my case...a beautiful white truffle from Alba."


Four outstanding graduates of The Art Institute of Colorado were recognized as new Hall of Fame members at a ceremony and celebration on Saturday, September 10, 2005. The group represents decades of the school's program history, along with a variety of industry expertise and acclaim. The inductees are: fine artist Lamar Briggs, of Palm Beach, Florida; and executive chef Ian Kleinman; studio owner and artist Kit Hevron Mahoney; and exhibit design director Rod Pacheco, all of Denver. Briggs was in Paris, France when the ceremony was held, but sent a statement expressing his appreciation for the honor and the education he received at The Art Institute.

Briggs, a featured guest artist profiled in numerous books and magazines, graduated from the Advertising Design program in 1959. His work is part of the international American Consulate program, and seen in more than 120 collections across the country, including the Denver Art Museum. He has been listed in "Who's Who in American Art" since 1962, and participated in invitational shows and one-man exhibitions for decades. Involved in charitable works for arts organizations nationwide, he works with the Aspen Music Festival, medical center fundraising efforts and a number of Alzheimer's associations. He has also donated work to educational institutions and charities that address AIDS and drug abuse. Briggs is known for his signature abstract paintings inspired by nature and music.

Mahoney, a partner of Brushstrokes Studio-Gallery in Washington Park, graduated from the Advertising Design program in 1978. She has worked as a graphic designer, a graphic design instructor at The Art Institute and first ventured into the greeting card industry as a partner/designer of numerous lines of greeting cards. For the last 20 years, she has emerged as a successful fine artist featured in a variety of fine art publications and part of prestigious invitational shows. Mahoney has exhibited in galleries nationwide and is a consistent award recipient, named "Artist to Watch/Best of the West" by Southwest Art magazine. She also takes time to support fundraising efforts for PBS, donating paintings to silent auctions.

Pacheco, design director at PG Exhibits of Denver, graduated from the Industrial Design program in 1994. He began his career at Proctor Productions as architectural design director, working on conceptualization, layout and engineering of exhibits, and corporate and retail environments. Currently, he oversees all aspects of design and client relations, including Gates Rubber, Qwest, McData, Space Imaging, Western Union and Copper Mountain Ski Resort. Pacheco's work has been showcased in Advertising and Marketing Review, as well as Exhibitor magazine, and has received consistent industry recognition since 1997. He is a member of the Industrial Design Professional Advisory Committee at The Art Institute and volunteers for the Inner City Health Center's annual bike rodeo, repairing donated bikes to go to deserving children.

A 1997 Culinary Arts graduate, Ian Kleinman is executive chef at Emogene Patisserie et Café in Cherry Creek. He developed an interest in cooking at a young age in conjunction with his family's restaurant, the Golden Pan, in Breckenridge. As a teenager, he worked the line and moved through the kitchens of local venues such as the Augusta at the Westin Hotel and the Rattlesnake Grill. After he graduated from The Art Institute, Kleinman worked at Rialto Café before moving on to a chef position at Hilltop Café, then went on to make a name for himself at Indigo restaurant in Cherry Creek. Kleinman has been a participant in the respected James Beard Foundation in New York, the youngest chef in Colorado to cook there three times. He was named runner-up for Colorado's ACF Chef of the Year in 2004, and volunteers his time for school events and with SOS Operation Frontline

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