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..An Already Dreamed State \ Already Dreaming State \ Already…Francheska Alcantara (MFA 2019). Installation / activation: Wood, plexi, mylar, acrylic, cotton line, plastic, sugar, soil, aluminum and Hispano cuaba soap; choreography for 5 dancers and 12 readers; costuming and audio. Photo by Terry Brown

Students and faculty at VCUarts are pioneering a new landscape of global integration through cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and innovation.

Several groundbreaking research projects are fostering collaboration between the arts and health. Associate Professor of Kinetic Imaging Semi Ryu is investigating if storytelling and avatar technology may help terminally ill patients with pain management. Nursing and art education students build empathy and observation skills through deep engagement with works of art through the art of looking.

“Medicine and the arts deal with the same thing—the human condition,” says Dr. John E. Nestler, VCUarts’ inaugural physician-scientist in residence at VCUarts, whose work supports collaborative research between the arts and health.

Across other arts disciplines, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Wes Taylor and Assistant Professor of Dance + Choreography MK Abadoo are using design and performance to explore community justice while Assistant Professor of Dance + Choreography and Kinetic Imaging Kate Sicchio’s work incorporates coding, video, and projection into live performance.

VCUarts students forge close connections with the school’s faculty, an internationally recognized group of working artists, scholars and performers dedicated to fostering a community of rigor, experimentation and social consciousness. Students frequently bring an interdisciplinary lens to their own work, combining painting and performance, sculpture and engineering, or graphic design and music, to name a few.

VCUarts is shaping the frontiers of research and discovery at the boundaries of what the arts mean today and how they will be inspired, sustained and lived tomorrow.

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