Paul Rucker is a VCU iCubed Visiting Arts Fellow embedded at the ICA. Rucker is a visual artist, composer, and musician who often combines media, integrating live performance, sound, original compositions, and visual art. His work is the product of a rich interactive process, through which he investigates community impact, human rights issues, historical research, and basic human emotions surrounding particular subject matter. Much of his current work focuses on the prison-industrial complex and the many issues accompanying incarceration in its relationship to slavery. He has presented performances and visual art exhibitions across the country and has collaborated with educational institutions to address the issue of mass incarceration. Presentations have taken place in schools, active prisons, and inactive prisons such as Alcatraz.
He is a 2012 Creative Capital grantee in visual art as well as a 2014 Multi-Arts Production Fund grantee for performance. In 2013-15, he was the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation Artist in Residence and Research Fellow at the Maryland Institute and College of Art. In 2015, he was awarded a Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors grant.He was most recently awarded a 2017 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.
In Fall 2017, VCU’s School of the Arts, Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA), and Department of African American Studies launched the Racial Equity, Arts and Culture Transdisciplinary Core, an initiative founded through VCU’s Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry and Innovation, known as iCubed. Founded in July 2015, iCubed builds human capital across the university and community. It connects multiple disciplines and lived experiences through the creation of transdisciplinary cores—university community partnerships that endeavor to solve problems disproportionately affecting populations in urban areas. The mission of the Racial Equity, Arts and Culture Transdisciplinary Core is to foster critical dialogue about, and develop mechanisms for, advancing the fair treatment of people of all races in and through arts and culture.