On November 13, 2017, ’16 Ulster graduate and current student Demetrio “Dino” Rende passed away. As an art major almost finished with his second degree, the loss of the 63-year-old Marlboro resident was particularly felt among members of the art department, but students and faculty throughout the Ulster community knew and cared for him. Since his passing, many faculty members, staff, and students have shared their stories and remembered the various ways he impacted their lives. Here are just a handful.
From Professor Iain Machell, Fine Art Program Coordinator: “The semester the Fine Art majors took a bus trip to the Met, everyone was free to roam the museum with assignments and recommendations. I asked Dino where he was interested in going and he said, ‘I just wanna hang with the Professor.’ So he and I toured the galleries, ending up in the European galleries (interrupted only by a burger at a vintage soda fountain on Lexington Ave.) and discussed the technical skills of the sculpture, the importance of the human figure throughout history, and the primacy of drawing. All the while Dino was like that famous little kid looking in the candy store window, amazed by everything and energized at the human creative spirit and the need to express ourselves. I could not have had a better museum companion.”
From a student: “He was headstrong and stubborn, but that was only part of his charm, and it will be sorely missed. Dino had a way of brightening up my day when I needed it most, and would endlessly compliment and encourage me in my own work. If I was feeling down on my art, he would lift my spirits back up. May Dino rest in peace, and I hope now more than ever that the space whale murals remain a part of Ulster for many years to come.”
From a student: “He’s part of the reason I applied to SAIC, and I’ll never forget how he boasted about me and my work to that School of Visual Arts portfolio reviewer; that was incredible. He watched our graduation in the spring, too, specifically to cheer for us when we walked. He was more supportive than most of my family and friends.”
From Professor Dolores Quiles: “I always enjoyed his Italian flirtations. We were two of the many college community who played a role in Spoon River Anthology. He was always positive and silly. I will miss his energy.”
From Jane Kithcart, Director of Academic Support Services/Learning Center: “Dino will truly be missed in the Learning Center, but he will be with us forever because he created a work of art that we have on display. Rest in peace my friend.”
Please share your own Dino stories in the comments below as we celebrate the life of this amazing student!