Forbes magazine recently listed Richmond, VA as one of the top 10 up-and-coming cities in the world for entrepreneurial startups, calling it “a hotbed of activity.” Crediting its quality of life, strategic location, thriving cultural arts scene, tax incentives, and great universities (including Virginia Commonwealth University), Forbes predicted that Richmond is “poised to make a big splash in the next several years.”
In the category of culture, there is no question that the ICA will make the biggest splash. Now among an impressive group of startups, this new contemporary art museum will help define Richmond in the 21st century. The ICA is poised to become the institutional hub for a growing community of art and design lovers – residents and visitors – who want to surround themselves with creativity and innovation in order to stimulate their imaginations and improve the quality of their daily lives.
The Commonwealth of Virginia is fortunate to have the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) which holds some of the best art from around the world, representing a variety of cultures and time periods. But by its very nature, the VMFA cannot focus exclusively and broadly on art being produced throughout the world today. The ICA, however, can do just that. And because it is a non-collecting museum, it can focus entirely on constantly changing exhibitions, experimental performances, new films, dynamic educational programs, and substantive community-wide collaborations. The ICA’s distinct mission to support the best contemporary art from across the globe will set it apart from other cultural resources in the city. It will become the only museum in Richmond dedicated to exploring the art of our time in all media. People will visit because they will know what to expect. There will always be something new and fresh to discover; it will be a place to encounter endless innovation.
The Institute for Contemporary Art will complement VCUarts, the nation’s #1 public art school. It will also benefit from being a strategically located East Coast city with a vibrant arts community; and it will be housed in a building designed by Steven Holl Architects, which will become the most important gateway to the city of Richmond.