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Kean University

Kean Alumnus Ricardo Roig Named University’s Artist-in-Residence

Ricardo Roig, Kean artist-in-residence, poses alongside his work

Kean University alumnus and contemporary fine artist Ricardo Roig ’08, will become Kean’s next artist-in-residence following a unanimous vote by the University Board of Trustees on Monday, March 6.

Roig, who developed his signature style of art as a student at Kean University, creates innovative, colorful, hand-cut prints. As the artist-in-residence, he will create a mural on Kean’s Union campus in the Human Rights Institute, beginning in the Fall semester. The Scotch Plains artist will also exhibit new work in Kean’s Karl and Helen Burger Gallery in Spring 2024, and will conduct workshops and classes with students.

Kean President Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D., described Roig as “a great example of the talent we have here at Kean University.

“We love the fact that Kean alumni want to come back, especially to use their talents to invest in our students,” Repollet said. “We are thrilled that Ricardo Roig will share his artistic experience and skills with the community and add his artistic imprint to the campus.”

At Kean, Roig earned a B.A. in fine arts and painting/printmaking in 2008 and later earned his teaching certification. He said he includes some blue in every piece in tribute to Kean. 

Kean Artist in Residence Ricardo Roig works on a mural

Roig said he is “extremely thrilled” to be named artist-in-residence.

“I love how Kean continues to build relationships and bridges to new opportunities for its students past and present,” said Roig, adding that he also loved developing as an art educator at Kean.

“Kean has always supported my unique curiosities as an artist. Now I’m continuing the same practice as I am invited back to share once again,” he said. “It's easy to love the place that has shown you so much love and understanding.” 

Lynette Zimmerman, executive director of the Galleries at Kean, said Roig will create the mural in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She said she hopes to have pop-up “watch parties” for the public to watch Roig create. The mural will be completed by late September.

Roig, who owns and operates art galleries in Hoboken, Westfield and Boston, will also collaborate with the Galleries at Kean, College of Liberal Arts, Fine Arts Department and Office of Career Services, enhancing the curriculum with hands-on learning through workshops, industry networking, internships, and entrepreneurial instruction on gallery management. 

“The Artist in Residence program seeks to connect students to opportunity through art,” Zimmerman said. “Having a celebrated artist and industry leader on campus sharing a new body of work, enhancing the curriculum with hands-on learning and expanded understanding of both art and the business of art is what makes this program at Kean University stand apart.”

Roig’s signature style of art uses stencil layers, each patiently hand-cut from paper with a razor blade, then attached to a screen, and pulled through with vivid paint colors, layer by layer. 

“Ricardo’s work is imaginative, colorful and inspiring. He brings an energy to his art that radiates off of the paper,” Zimmerman said.

His work is exhibited in the W Hoboken Hotel and numerous venues.

He has done commissions for Amazon, Hilton Hotels, The Beekman Hotel, Rockrose Development NYC, the cities of Jersey City and Hoboken, town of Westfield, W Hotels, New York-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital, and many private clients.