What is the Institute for Contemporary Art?



Always challenging.

Currently under construction, the ICA is poised to become a cultural linchpin for the city of Richmond. The non-collecting institute will showcase a fresh slate of changing innovative exhibitions, performances, films and special programs.


The Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) at Virginia Commonwealth University presents the art of our time and provides an open forum for dialogue and collaboration across the region and throughout the world.


Participants respect the ICA as a public resource and value the transformative power of art and artists. Impact Planning Framework >>

The Specifics

VCU’s 41,000-square-foot Institute for Contemporary Art will be an incubator for interdisciplinary experimentation for the entire university while simultaneously providing opportunities for collaboration both locally and internationally.

  • It will be in direct dialogue with the #1 public art school in the country set within a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research.
  • It will be centrally located on the East Coast in a city with a top-10 museum and a region with few venues for the latest contemporary art.
  • The building, which was designed by one of the world’s most important living architects, Steven Holl, will become an iconic gateway for the city of Richmond.
  • It will become a conduit for global collaboration, not only because of VCUarts’ campus in Qatar, which connects us directly to the Middle East, but it will also help bridge the distance to artists working in other regions internationally.

Want to know more? Read our FAQ.

Watch our Progress

Construction on the ICA began in June 2014. Follow our progress here.