Q&A with Noah Scalin: VCU’s first business artist-in-residence.

A local artist who for years has worked with Fortune 500 companies on fostering innovation is bringing his approach to creativity to the VCU School of Business, which has named him its inaugural artist-in-residence.

Richmond native Noah Scalin, who gained national attention in 2007 for his yearlong Skull-A-Day project, is working with the school as part of its recently adopted strategic plan to realize its goal of incorporating creativity into its classes and curriculum.

In his new role, Scalin will conduct creative-thinking seminars with students and faculty, guest-lecture courses, create art installations to be displayed prominently in the school, and each semester lead one of the 30-day “Creative Sprint” challenges he developed through his consulting firm, Another Limited Rebellion, which has worked with such clients as Altria, Capital One, GE and Gap.

Results of Scalin’s first-day-of-school challenge for students to create smiley faces with items in their backpacks. (Courtesy Noah Scalin)

VCU senior associate dean Ken Kahn came up with the artist-in-residence program and reached out to Scalin after hearing him speak at this year’s VCU Innovation Summit.

“We want to do something different so students realize we are serious about business and creativity,” Kahn said. “I mean, how many business schools have an artist doing an installation in their school of business?”

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