VCU Names New Dean for School of the Arts, Shawn Brixey


New dean of the VCU School of the Arts, Shawn Brixey, is a graduate from The Media Lab at MIT in design.
  • New dean of the VCU School of the Arts, Shawn Brixey, is a graduate from The Media Lab at MIT in design.

After a long search, Virginia Commonwealth University has named Shawn Brixey as dean of VCU School of the Arts.

Brixey serves as dean of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design at York University in Toronto.

“I am pleased to welcome Shawn Brixey to VCU as the new dean of our School of the Arts,” VCU President Michael Rao said in a press release. “In addition to being an accomplished artist, Shawn’s background as an educator, researcher, writer and inventor makes him the perfect fit for our university. We all look forward to working with Shawn and are happy to have him as the leader of the nation's No. 1-ranked public school of the arts.”

Here's more about Brixey from the VCU announcement below. Stay tuned for a Q&A that Style will have with the new arts dean in the coming days.

Under Brixey’s leadership the AMPD at York has repositioned its mission and focus toward interdisciplinary, team-driven, technology-centered, creative research and discovery. It is one of the most comprehensive arts, media, performance and design faculty in North America, with more than 250 tenure-line faculty and lecturers, 500 graduate students and 4,000 undergraduates.

“VCUarts is a truly path-breaking research community,” Brixey said. “I am honored by and excited about the opportunity to support its wonderful faculty and students. They are uniquely positioned to shape the frontiers of research and discovery at the boundaries of what the arts mean today, and how they will be inspired and lived tomorrow.” ...

Prior to his appointment at York, Brixey was professor and The Floyd and Delores Jones Endowed Chair in Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he co-founded and directed The Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media, UW’s pioneering interdisciplinary B.F.A. and Ph.D. program in digital arts and media culture. He has served as professor at the University of California Berkeley, where he was founder and chair of the Digital Media Program, and founder and director of the Center for Digital Art and New Media Research (now the Berkeley Center for New Media) ...

A graduate of The Media Lab at MIT in design, media science and engineering, Brixey’s research focuses on pioneering complex interactive media environments developed with a wide range of custom technologies and intelligent applications. He has received a wide range of digital arts and sciences grants and awards to support his research and educational initiative, including from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Science Foundation.

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