I remember hearing about Ed Popovitz before ever meeting the man. I had told a classmate and friend of mine I was starting a book-making class and she’d said, “Oh yeah, hopefully you’ll get Ed—he makes it interesting.” Processing this I’d wondered if I’d ever had him as an instructor before, so, being the minor sartorialist that I am, I asked what he looked like. “Geek chic.” She responded. Ah, I did know the man. The only instructor I knew who could seamlessly blend utilitarian hiking boots, thick-framed architect’s glasses, puffer vests and flannel (attitude is key, kids); always looking passably urban but with an impromptu hike never far from the mind.
But when I was recently told someone from the Art Institute of Colorado was trying to create a “Center for Philanthropic Design” I had a pretty good idea who it was. Previously (probably after much prying on my part) Ed had told me about some of his volunteer workshops but I remember what had stood out for me most was his enthusiasm, which, while kept stoically reserved for his part, was clearly palpable. That and his B-S meter. If he’d taught you for more than a minute he probably already had a pretty good idea of your potential and wasn’t going to let you get away with that hastily-baked deliverable.
But more than anything he taught me that some of the greatest joys in life come out of sharing everything you know. Because in spite of those hiking boots he’d rather be sitting there with you, in his office, after hours, providing clarity. We all wish Ed safe travels and fruitful conquests on his sabbatical.
-Richard Slemaker, The Art Institute of Colorado Class of ’11