Featured Artist


“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”
― Edgar Degas

In 2015, the VCCS Office of Professional Development began a new tradition of honoring one of our own faculty members as the featured artist for New Horizons, the premier teaching and learning conference of the Virginia Community College System. It was with great felicity that Autumn Over Warm Springs was featured in 2015, a stunning work by artist Fred Nichols, former Piedmont Virginia Community College faculty.

An exciting new era was born for New Horizons: the integration of a VCCS faculty artist’s work throughout the conference, to include most notably the coveted program cover, and the now 2nd annual official conference poster–a collectible, signed by the artist.

We are delighted to announce that Tammy Parks, art faculty at New River Community College, is the 2016 New Horizons Featured Artist. Tammy’s work, Virginia Sunrise, captivated the judging panel with its golden rays emanating above the mountainscape, an apt metaphor as the VCCS celebrates a golden anniversary: “50 Years of Progress and Promise.”

Virginia Sunrise by Tammy Parks

This work is an original stained glass panel (copper foil technique used) influenced by the Cubist period of Diego Rivera. I believe it symbolically represents what we as college professors are working towards with our students…to allow the light of discovery and education to shine and reveal the beauty and possibilities of our world. – Tammy Parks

The artwork submitted this year reflects the diversity, scope, reach, and artistic talent in the VCCS—talent that is both evident and extraordinary. It is in the spirit of sharing the beauty and innovation of each outstanding submission that we celebrate and showcase our featured artist, as well as acknowledge and exhibit all of the wonderful submissions.

Please take a moment to visit the gallery on the New Horizons website, as each work is unique and invites contemplation, imagination, admiration, and engagement as do, we expect, those who created them.


Tammy Parks

Associate Professor of Art
New River Community College

Tammy Parks is an associate professor of art at New River Community College. She received a BA in Art (painting emphasis) and Spanish at Emory and Henry College, a MAT in Spanish from the University of Mississippi, an MFA from Goddard College (public art installation focus) and she is currently writing her dissertation after completing the doctoral course three year program at the Institute for the Visual Arts. She is a generalist who teaches 2-D and 3-D studio, digital and art history courses. At NRCC she designed one of the first on-line courses for an Advanced Learners program created to encourage an interactive learning environment. She developed a study abroad program where students experience the art and architecture of countries directly and create research-based projects from their travels. She designed a new visual communication design curriculum program and has extended the art specializations offered through the transfer degree program. She is the advisor for the Kappa Pi International Art Honor Society that encourages collective art making on campus and she is the co-advisor for the Fine Arts Club that allows students to travel to destinations such as the Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond and the Biltmore Estate in Asheville.