Dr. Rodrecus Davis has been named the new head of department for the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Grambling State University.
Davis, a professor in the Department of Visual & Performing Arts, said his familiarity with the institution and longevity with the department helped set him apart from other applicants.
Davis feels that he is in the position to have a deeper understanding of the needs of the department, the students and the vision of the department.
“People come from high education backgrounds all have the same kind experience but having particular experience in a particular area is something else all-together,” Davis said.
Davis hopes to create an integrated department where all disciplines are interacting with each other and working towards the same goal. Davis’s ultimate goal is to increase enrollment while also figuring out how to better serve current students and improve the visibility of the department not only on campus but in neighboring communities too. Davis’s outreach plans include informing prospective and interested students that visual and performing arts is a viable career option. Included in outreach efforts will be bringing visibility to programs that currently exist within the department, such as art guilds, and working towards developing activities that will allow students to get out in the community and interact to create a presence.
Davis said that among the biggest issues the department has is with infrastructure and staffing. Dunbar Hall which holds the VPA department and currently houses faculty offices and his classes has limited space. Davis said more room is required for studio courses which would provide more space to allow students to take on ambitious projects, exhibitions and summer projects.
Davis’s idea is to create a department that is encompassing of contemporary ideas of where art is and where it is going.
To have facilities on campus as a primitive representation of what’s happening in contemporary art available to the community. To present the things that is done artistically and intellectually in a way people have never experienced before.
Davis believe that the VPA department does not receive enough attention from other departments and this is because the arts tend to rate low on people radars because of the way society Is structured.
“We don’t have the kind of traffic and interaction the faculty or I would like to see, but on occasion we do give a swell of traffic through particular events,” Davis said.
While there are a lot of competing activities, not only at GSU but all around the environment, Davis see art appreciation as important because being able to see an exhibition, view a play or hear a recital is a part of how people come to understand how those things exist in the same place you do.
Davis hopes that students are willing to give themselves the space to investigate creative impulses and try to figure out how they can use them in conjunction with other things they would be interested in.
Davis said such exposure to ideas helps enrich lives and increases the capabilities of what people can do in their daily lives and employment.
Going into the job environment students are encouraged to able to differentiate themselves from others.
Davis said students in VPA tend to think about problem solving in a way that students with math and science background do not.
Davis was born and raised in Georgia.