As Virginia Tech’s School of Visual Arts continues to strengthen its programs, a new advancement council will help pave the way to success. Nancy Prichard of Virginia Beach, Va., a School of Visual Arts alumna, longtime arts educator, and celebrated artist will lead the charge as the chair of the newly formed School of Visual Arts Advancement Council. 

The council will be a driving force behind the school’s fundraising and outreach efforts.

When approached about the council, Prichard says she immediately knew she wanted to get involved. “It was really something I wanted to do. I think I had already been thinking about it before anyone even approached me,” said Prichard. “With the background that I have in education working with gifted and talented young artists, I have something to contribute, and I am really excited.”

Kevin Concannon, director of the School of Visual Arts, agrees that Prichard is the right fit for the role. “Nancy is an outstanding choice. As a teacher of art, she is completely plugged in to what needs to happen recruitment-wise,” Concannon said. “She also understands exactly what we need, the importance of supporting our faculty's research, and what alumni need to hear about what we're up to.”

One of the major things that the School of Visual Arts is up to is setting itself apart through its curriculum and research as an arts program focused on the intersection of art and technology — a pursuit facilitated by Virginia Tech’s technological leadership.

“I think that it is so exciting because one of the things I know that Kevin wants to do is something that and I would like to work on too: it’s the idea of Virginia Tech becoming an destination school for top students who have interest in math, science, and technology, but they also have that love for art. This is just the perfect place for them to come and to maximize their potential.”

The School of Visual Arts is leveraging the university’s outstanding scientific, engineering, and technological resources to create opportunities for interdisciplinary curriculum and research.

School of Visual Arts faculty members, are working with the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology and other departments on campus on a variety of projects that combine the arts and technologies to great mutual advantage. Current research collaborations include data visualization, interactive applications, archaeology, bio-engineering, supercomputing, and veterinary medicine. 

“This is just an incredible time for this to happen, with the new Center for the Arts opening and the formation of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology and all of these new fresh, young, energetic, and very talented young professors. There are already so many things going on with the arts at Virginia Tech — it’s impressive — and the time is right for this to happen and for us to continue working to advance art,” said Prichard.