Headshot of Kevin Concannon
Kevin Concannon

Kevin Concannon, professor of art history and former director of the School of Visual Arts in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of professor emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.

A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 2011, Concannon maintained an active scholarly agenda, focusing on art of the 1960s, particularly the work of Yoko Ono. His publications are widely cited by peers, and a seminal article “Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece (1964): From text to performance and back again,” stands as the critical source on the work of Yoko Ono.

As the director of the School of Visual Arts, Concannon provided intellectual, creative, and administrative leadership to the school with 32 full-time faculty, instructors, and staff serving approximately 275 students in art and design majors. He championed intra-university curricular partnerships, including those with computer science and human computer interaction, communications and advertising, the Calhoun Honors Discovery Program, and the creativity and innovation destination area and creative technologies.

Concannon expanded the teaching and research capacity of the school, expanding the number of full-time faculty in the school from 19 to 29 while consistently increasing enrollment. He grew the school by transitioning concentrations within the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art program to separate majors in studio art, creative technologies, and graphic design, a change that increased the number of undergraduate applications for all BFA disciplines.

In addition, he also introduced classes for non-majors. Between 2012 and 2020, the number of non-School of Visual Arts students taking non-major studio classes increased from zero to 500. He also oversaw the introduction of one of the first Pathways minors, The Visual Arts and Society.

Concannon worked tirelessly to ensure the visual arts were included in university-level discussions, serving as the first chair of what is now the Arts@VT board. His leadership in this arena advanced conversations that contributed to the building of the Creativity and Innovation District Living Learning Community which opened in 2021.

As a teacher of contemporary art history, Concannon introduced both undergraduate and graduate students to the world of contemporary art, delighting students with stories of artists, art dealers, and gallerists.

Because of his many professional accomplishments, Concannon received the College of Architecture and Urban Studies Career Achievement Award in 2020.

Concannon received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts and a Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University.

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