In April 2018, we open our doors with Declaration

Why Declaration? Declarations mark beginnings, clarify intentions, and propose a social contract. This is true, whether we think about something as personal as a declaration of love between two people, or as grandly public as the Declaration of Independence. In love, politics, or art, we can’t know if our declarations will be heard, how they will be received, or where they’ll lead us.

Our inaugural exhibition explores these ideals through a dynamic mix of projects from over 30 emerging and established artists, each speaking to pressing social issues. The exhibition will fill the ICA and reach into the city. It will feature many premieres and ambitious commissions, including several created in collaboration with Richmond citizens. The works in Declaration reflect the growing number of voices we encounter on a daily basis, speaking in varied modes, tones, and intensity.

In this era of intense debate and social change, we need real conversations about the weight of the past, the state of the world, and possible futures. Declaration is infused with our belief in the transformative power of art and artists as well as the importance of contemporary art and ideas here at VCU and in Richmond. Think of this show as a declaration of what the ICA hopes to be — welcoming, challenging, dynamic, and relevant.


Nidaa Badwan | Martin Bonadeo | Tania Bruguera | Peter Burr and Porpentine Charity Heartscape | Cassils | CHIM↑POM | Andrea Donnelly | Edie Fake | Hope Ginsburg | GWAR | Kate Just | Titus Kaphar | Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. | Autumn Knight | Lily Lamberta and All the Saints Theater Co. | Mingwei Lee | Cannupa Hanska Luger | Noor Nuyten | Geof Oppenheimer | Cheryl Pope | Paul Rucker | Curtis Talwst Santiago | Marinella Senatore | Jon-Phillip Sheridan | Deb Sokolow | Tavares Stratchan | Betty Tompkins | Stephen Vitiello | Levester Williams | Winter Count Collective


Admission to the ICA is always free, but please note that timed tickets are required for building and exhibition access for opening weekend (April 21–22). After opening, timed tickets are required for exhibition entry and special events only. Tickets will be available prior to opening in April 2018. Please check back soon!

Declaration is co-curated by Stephanie Smith, Lisa Freiman, and Amber Esseiva with Johanna Plummer and Lauren Ross.