In Memoriam Remembering Tim Rollins

David Rhodes

Before Tim became the artist of international stature and revolutionary educator so widely celebrated, he was an intense young man from Pittsfield, Maine who wanted to study at SVA. In the mid ’70s, I would still interview students for admission from time to time. Tim was one of the last students I interviewed for admission and of all the students I interviewed at SVA, he was clearly the most knowledgeable and well prepared. He arrived in my office with a list of faculty with whom he wanted to study and precise reasons for his choices. The interview lasted over an hour with the final few minutes devoted to scheduling his classes for the coming two years.

After he graduated, he worked in SVA’s library. I happened to meet him one evening. He was preparing to meet some of his young students the following morning by tearing pages from a book to be used as the basis for further exploration—K.O.S. methods before K.O.S. From the beginning, he was moved by issues of social justice. 



DAVID RHODES has been the President of the School of Visual Arts since 1978.