Sonya Clark, artist, educator, and ICA supporter, discusses her expectations and hopes for the ICA.

1. What does the ICA mean to you and why do you support it?

The ICA is pure opportunity. It’s a vessel to bring the diverse populations of Richmond together around thought and action. The ICA presents a real opportunity to bring the world to Richmond and Richmond to the world with art at the helm.

2. What influence has art had on your life?
It’s hard to answer this question. As an artist and an educator, art is simply my oxygen. I could not survive without it.

3. What impact do you think the ICA will have on Richmond?
The ICA will be a place where curiosity is engaged. It will be where Richmonders will go to be surprised by the capacity art has to change their minds, envision new things, and be challenged by the unexpected.

4. If you could have lunch with any contemporary artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would dine with a future VCU Craft and Material Studies alumna at one of Richmond’s great restaurants. Maybe Heritage or Quirk Hotel’s Maple and Pine restaurant. I’d ask this successful artist from the future how her work became a catalyst for changing the way we think as a culture. She would tell me how her career was impacted by studying at VCUarts with talented faculty and how she gained insights by having access to the programming and exhibits at the ICA.

Professor Sonya Clark is the Chair of the Department of Craft/Material Studies at VCU School of the Arts. Clark holds an M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art, a B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a B.A. from Amherst College. Her informal education comes from her Jamaican grandmother who was a professional tailor and the many traditional artists she has met in her international travels. She has received numerous awards and fellowships and has had her work exhibited internationally in more than 250 museums and galleries. In 2015, Clark was a featured contributor to the ICA’s exhibition, New Dominion. Clark currently sits on the American Craft Council Board.

Photo: Diego Valdez