An art class taught in 1924 by Theresa Pollak sparked what has become the VCUarts legacy. From those humble beginnings, VCU has evolved into a world-class institution with an international presence, a campus in Richmond and in Doha, Qatar. The school has flourished over the years producing among it graduates, artists, designers, performers, and scholars who are significant contributors to their respective fields and the evolution of our culture.
The VCUarts Richmond campus resides within a major research university in a city that recognizes the importance of the arts.Our undergraduates have proven themselves in their professional pursuits and have been sought after by the nation’s leading graduate programs. Our graduate students have excelled, and their accomplishments along with those of our alumni, have helped to garner our ranking as the number one art and design graduate program in the country by US News and World Report. Importantly, this also makes VCUarts the number one program within a Carnegie Research University. Residing within a university with recognized programs in the humanities, medicine, engineering, business, education and the social science gives our students opportunities for connections to the broader university and its trove of academic disciplines, an important dynamic in our students’ education. While being immersed in the arts, our students have the opportunity to study alongside scholars from divergent fields and experience the richness of a comprehensive university.
The reputation and recognition of our faculty and alumni is noticed locally and globally. Students study in an environment that gives them access to faculty and alumni that are scholars and arts practitioners of the highest order. As graduates of our programs they become part of the community of alumni who have gone on to be recognized as leaders in their respective fields. They have received Guggenheim Fellowships, MacArthur “Genius” Awards, Academy Awards, Joan Mitchell Awards in the Visual Arts, Pollock-Krasner Awards, Emmys, and Clios among others.
Alumni work has been published in Newsweek, Architectural Digest, Fortune, Vogue, Communication Arts, Graphis, Harper’s Bazaar, The New York Times, international media, and countless professional journals. The work of VCUarts graduates has appeared in the Chicago International Film Festival, New York City Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Joffrey Ballet, Carnegie Hall, MTV, Sundance Film Festival, Disney Studios, Spike Lee Productions, and in museums including Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim, Hirshhorn, Tokyo, MoMA, Whitney, Museum of Modern Art, and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.
We are fortunate to be located in the center of the region’s cultural heartbeat. Richmond serves as the state government seat and boasts the largest state art museum in the country, a new downtown performing arts center, VCU’s Anderson Gallery and numerous exhibition and performance venues for students and professionals. Virginia Commonwealth University takes pride in being part of a city that understands the importance of its creative community and fosters and supports the arts. Students have opportunities to intern with local and national organizations, perform in renowned venues, travel abroad and to even take part in an exchange with our sister campus in Qatar.
VCUarts continues to be highly ranked, and our students, faculty and alumni carry their VCUarts heritage with pride.
Joseph H. Seipel
Dean, School of the Arts