VCU will name the building after the first African-American dean


RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -Virginia Commonwealth University will name a fine arts building in honor of the university’s first African-American dean.

The Dr. Murry N. DePillars Building will be located at 1000 West Broad Street. The building measures 114,000 square feet and houses the following services:

  • Crafts / materials studies
  • Painting and engraving
  • Kinetic imaging
  • Sculpture + Extended Media

The VCU Institute of Contemporary Art has named its new Murry DePillars Learning Lab in honor of the former Dean. The laboratory houses the VPM + ICA community multimedia center.

DePillars was Dea of ​​VCUarts from 1976 to 1995.

While DePillars was dean, VCUarts nearly doubled enrollment, reaching 2,400 students and becoming one of the largest art schools in the country. He has also helped organize campus and city jazz festivals and high-profile fashion shows.

DePillars was also a professional painter. He had a knowledge of African art history and his paintings incorporated a vast lexicon of cultural iconography. He was a member of the AfriCOBRA collective, based in Chicago, the African commune of bad artists.

The dedication was authorized by a resolution of the Visitors Council which was passed in September 2020.

A commemoration ceremony will be held on September 30 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., which will include the unveiling of the building’s signage and commemorative plaque.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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