VCUarts has 15 degree programs in the visual and performing arts, with a full-time and adjunct faculty of over 200 members. The school is part of a major, urban public research university with national rankings and a commitment to diversity, community, discovery and innovation. VCUarts has been ranked the number one public school of arts and design for over a decade.
“We are so pleased with the talent our search committees have found and secured for the school,” says Interim Dean James Frazier, M.F.A., Ed.D. “These new faculty and staff, with their diverse backgrounds and range of experience, will expand the possibilities for our students and the larger VCUarts community. Their talent adds to the expertise already here at VCUarts and it will evolve us into new ways of thinking.”
Faculty and staff were identified after extensive national searches. VCUarts faculty will kick-off the academic year when classes begin tomorrow, August 25, 2016.
VCUarts New Hires
Wesley Taylor (assistant professor, Art Foundation and Graphic Design) is a co-founding partner of Emergence Media, a network of artistic producers based in Detroit, Michigan. He previously taught at Lawrence Technological University, Wayne State University, and Eastern Michigan University. He graduated from Cranbrook Academy of Art with his M.F.A. and the University of Michigan with his B.F.A.
Jason Bennett (assistant professor, Communication Arts) is a veteran of the entertainment industry, where he has actively consulted as an art director and concept artist for clients like EA, Ubisoft, 2K, Sony, Insomniac and Hasbro. Bennett taught at the Ringling College of Art & Design, where he received his B.F.A.
Prior to VCU, Aaron McIntosh (assistant professor, Craft/Material Studies) taught in the fiber department at the Maryland Institute College of Art and at James Madison University. McIntosh received his M.F.A. from VCUarts and his B.F.A. from the Appalachian Center for Craft.
Mark Boulos (assistant professor, Photography + Film) works in multi-channel video installation, most recently collaborating with neuroscientists to explore and visualize technology’s effect on our enactment of identity. He earned his M.A. from the National Film & Television School in the U.K. and his B.A. from Swarthmore College.
Massa Lemu (assistant professor, Sculpture + Extended Media) is a visual artist and writer whose artistic practice takes the form of drawing, performance and multimedia installations. Lemu has an M.A. from Savannah College of Art and Design and is doctoral candidate at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
A VCU Fountainhead Fellow and former visiting artist, Irvin Morazan (assistant professor, Sculpture + Extended Media) has received accolades like the Creative Capital Grant and the Joan Mitchell Emerging Artist Grant. He earned his M.F.A. from Hunter College and his B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts.
Leigh Cole (instructor, Sculpture + Extended Media) is an interdisciplinary artist whose most recent work explores the intersection between science, fiction and culture. She earned her M.F.A. in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego and her B.F.A. degrees in Painting + Printmaking and Sculpture + Extended Media from VCUarts.
Karen Kopryanski (assistant professor, Theatre) comes to VCU after 10 years on the faculty at The Boston Conservatory, where she taught Shakespeare, Suzuki, voice, IPA, dialects and speech in the musical theatre program. She earned her M.F.A. from the American Repertory Theatre/Moscow Art Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University. She holds a B.A. from the State University of New York at Oswego.
Kikau Alvaro (assistant professor, Theatre) originated the role of Captain of the Guard in Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez’s musical “Up Here” at La Jolla Playhouse. He directed and choreographed “Fiddler on the Roof” at Cabrillo Stage in Aptos, Calif., where he also led productions of “Anything Goes” and “Oklahoma!” He received his M.F.A. from San Diego State University.
Salem Tsegaye (assistant director, Arts Research Institute) previously worked in philanthropy, nonprofit development and higher education. Most recently, at The New York Community Trust, she managed two collaborative funds of $1.2 million each supporting arts and cultural advocacy. She holds a M.A. from Parsons and a B.A. from Duke University.
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