Q: Why is VCU creating the ICA?


A: According to U.S. News & World Report, VCUarts is the #1 public university art and design program in the United States. VCU needs an arts institution commensurate with the level of extraordinary work being produced here. The ICA will inspire students, faculty, and the general public by bringing nationally and internationally respected artists and scholars to the city of Richmond. The ICA is poised to become the city’s cultural lynchpin and a key center for experimental contemporary practices nationally.


Q: What kind of programming is expected?

A: As a non-collecting institution, the ICA will focus on a fresh slate of changing exhibitions of visual art and design, experimental performances, films, and programs that encourage in-depth consideration of the central issues of our time. Specific exhibitions and programs will be developed by a curatorial team in consultation with the ICA director, Lisa Freiman. The ICA will become a catalyst for new experiences that will enrich the lives of Richmonders, Virginians, and cultural tourists from across the globe.


Q: Will the ICA show work from VCU faculty and alumni?

A: The ICA will feature the highest quality of art being created by artists and designers internationally, which may include our talented alumni and faculty.


Q: How much will the ICA cost to build and how is it being funded?

A: The ICA is a $37 million project. The ICA Campaign Committee has raised more than $35 million to-date. Contributions have come from corporations, foundations and individuals around the country. In particular, the Richmond community has been extraordinarily supportive, recognizing the need for this kind of resource for our university and broader community. An endowment campaign to help support the operations of the museum is also ongoing.


Q: Will the VCUarts Anderson Gallery be replaced by the ICA?

A: The Anderson Gallery has been an important venue for VCUarts for more than 35 years, presenting juried student and MFA thesis shows and exhibitions featuring emerging and established artists from around the world. Closed for part of 2015 and 2016, the building received some needed improvements and updates to accommodate new expectations, including the former Depot Gallery’s role as an exhibition space for student art work. The Anderson Gallery’s large following will be welcomed at the ICA, a showcase for cutting edge contemporary art work and performance from around the world.


Q: What’s your correct name?

The ICA’s official name is The Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University (or ICAVCU). Thanks to a generous gift by the Markel Corporation, the building has been named The Markel Center.