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Donor Talk: Jay Collier on the ICA

Can you describe your involvement with the ICA?

Initially I supported the ICA with a gift, but I also wanted to help with fundraising and awareness.  Last spring I hosted a cocktail party for the ICA with Bill and Pam Royall to engage Richmond’s young professionals by creating ambassadors who can further spread the word about the ICA. Recently I started planning a big fundraising event for the fall so stay tuned for that! (more…)

Is This An Intervention?

Earlier this month, the ICA team moved to The Hive, our temporary offices at 818 W. Broad St., next to the VCUarts Depot and just a half-block west of the construction site for the ICA’s Markel Center. To help christen our space, artist John D. Freyer brought his “Free Ice Water” artist intervention in which he creates a dialogue about addiction and vulnerabilities with participants. Thank you to John for sharing his work with us. He even left behind a reminder, a Ball jar complete with ICA relic in it. Each time we’re visited by an artist we’re having them sign our bathroom wall. Follow that project on Twitter with hashtag #HiveTags.

Developing Signage for the ICA

One of the many things we’re working on right now is the look of the signage system or “wayfinding.” Luckily we have a resident expert: Sandy Wheeler, an alumna, and faculty member in the VCUarts Graphic Design department. Sandy has extensive experience working on museum signage, having worked with the Smithsonian and many other arts organizations. She’s put some careful thought into the look and feel of the ICA’s signage and it’s no simple task. (more…)

Bev Reynolds ICA Groundbreaking

Gallery Named for Bev Reynolds

We’re pleased to share the news that the ICA’s first-floor gallery will be named for Beverly W. Reynolds, who has been a tireless advocate on behalf of the ICA and its capital campaign. She is a well respected gallery owner and arts advocate in Richmond who has been a longtime supporter of VCUarts and VCU. In fact, the ICA project was born more than 15 years ago due in large part to Bev’s urging of VCUarts’ dean at the time, Rick Toscan.

More than 80 donors contributed to the campaign to name a portion of the building in honor of Reynolds, including a recent significant contribution by her close friends, Harmon and George Logan of Charlottesville. Campaign co-chairs Pam and Bill Royall and ICA donors Carolyn and John Snow also directed a portion of their gifts  be made in Reynolds’ honor, bringing the total gifts and pledges in Reynolds’ name to $3 million.

Reynolds is pictured at left with Steve Markel at the ICA groundbreaking in June. Read more about the news here.

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Welcome ICA Curator Lauren Ross

We’re pleased to introduce our inaugural curator, Lauren Ross, who will begin in October and work closely with Director Lisa Freiman to conceptualize the ICA’s dynamic programming. Lauren joins us from the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, OK. Prior to that, she was based in New York for 18 years, where she served as the first curator of arts programs at the High Line, was a curator at the Brooklyn Museum, and a member of the leadership team at non-profit space, White Columns.

Read more about Lauren here.

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Presenting … The ICA Video

We’re thrilled to share our beautiful new video explaining why we need the ICA and what this “missing piece” will mean for VCU and for Richmond.

Please forward it to your friends and share on Facebook to help us spread the word about this exciting new cultural resource coming in 2017.

Thanks to the many Richmonders who spent time with our filmmakers and their student-production-assistants this winter. Here are a few behind-the-scenes shots taken during filming.

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Steven Holl Wins Lifetime Achievement in Architecture Award

Congratulations to ICA architect Steven Holl who has won the Japan Art Association’s 2014 Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award for Architecture. The awards recognize lifetime achievement in the arts and are one of the most prestigious international prizes awarded in architecture, painting, sculpture, music and theater/film.

Holl, who received the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 2012, will be honored with the Praemium Imperiale Award at a ceremony in Tokyo on October 15.

Holl understands how art and architecture will coalesce in VCU’s ICA:

“We have designed the Institute for Contemporary Art building, the Markel Center, to be a flexible, forward-looking instrument that can illuminate the transformative possibilities of contemporary art.

“Like many contemporary artists working today, the ICA’s design does not draw distinctions between the visual and performing arts. The fluidity of the design allows for experimentation, and will encourage new ways to display and present art that will capitalize on the ingenuity and creativity apparent throughout the VCU campus.”

In addition to the ICA, Steven Holl Architects is designing the expansion on the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as well as the expansion of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.

 

Temporary ICA Offices in the Works

During the two-year construction, the ICA team will take up residence in the VCU Real Estate Foundation-owned former Ramekins restaurant space on Broad Street, next to the gorgeous, new VCUarts Depot building and just a half-block west of the ICA. We’ll be able to keep tabs on construction and host some small events.

To help transform the temporary space ICA Director Lisa Freiman tapped a number of community members for their input, including Sally Schwitters from Tricycle Gardens, Patrick Farley of Watershed Architects, Greg Riggs from Field of Dreams Farm, Julie and Paul Weissend of Dovetail Construction, Peter Fraser of Fraser Design, John Haddad of Slow Food RVA, Ronni McCord of Walter Parks ArchitectsMitzi Lee of VCU Real Estate Services, VCUarts Project Manager Dinkus Deane and VCU student Josh Son. Some of the ideas tossed around include a vertical garden, courtyard entertaining space and modular ICA exhibition inside. Here are some shots from the initial brainstorming and walk-thru. As you can see, we have our work cut out for us.

A special thanks to the VCU Real Estate Foundation for use of the Ramekins space and for their continuing support of the ICA.

Groundbreaking Behind-the-Scenes Shots

Last week paint splashed down on the corner of Broad and Belvidere streets in Richmond marking the beginning of what will transform that corner — and this city. Nearly 350 people gathered for the groundbreaking of the Markel Center, the Steven-Holl-Architects-designed building that will house the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU.

Leaders from Markel Corporation rode two scissor lifts 30 feet up and poured paint in the ICA colors down on a mural created by VCUarts alumnus Ed Trask. Then a giant stencil was pulled back to reveal the ICA logo. Afterwards, VCUarts Dean Joe Seipel broke ground with a giant backhoe to cheers from the crowd of donors, arts and community leaders, students and faculty gathered. Here are some candid shots of the event.

When it opens in 2017, the ICA will be a non-collecting institution focused on presenting a fresh slate of changing, experimental exhibitions, performances, films and programs – both inside and outside the museum – that examine the big issues of our time. This week, construction crews began digging for geothermal wells. Watch on the construction cam.

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“Before” Aerial View of the ICA Site

VCU photographer Allen T. Jones got up in a plane the other day and shot this view of the ICA site and the surroundings at Broad and Belvidere streets. Soon the ICA will rise up there on the busiest corner in RVA, with 60,000 cars go by every day. The actual ICA site is that big, boring parking lot near the bottom, left of the frame. On Monday the lot will begin filling with equipment ready to break ground. So I give you “before” — glamorous “after” shot to come in 2017.

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Construction Cam Aimed and Ready

In anticipation of next month’s groundbreaking, a VCU Ramcam has been aimed to pan across the ICA site while it’s under construction. We’re looking forward to watching that parking lot transform from gray-asphalt wasteland into a dynamic public space. The video stream can be seen on our About page. The camera will also capture a daily photo which we’ll compile into a time-lapse video of construction when it’s all said and done in 2017.

Shooting the Milkbox Video

Over the last six months, the ICA team has been working with the talented filmmakers at Milkbox studios in New York to create a video that speaks to why we need the ICA and how important it will be in the larger contemporary art world. A big task, to be sure, but we knew Andrew Bordwin and Ed Nammour of Milkbox were up to it. (more…)

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Space and Light by Steven Holl

When he lectured at VCU in 2012, the ICA’s architect Steven Holl walked the standing-room-only audience through some of his amazing projects around the world. He said something that stuck with us:

“You want the idea driving the art.” (more…)

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Welcome

Welcome to the Institute for Contemporary Art’s behind-the-scenes blog. This is where we’ll fill you in on all it takes to bring this startup to life. We have many things in the works – from planning the details of the building’s interior to aiming a time-lapse camera at the ICA site – and many supporters making them happen. Here’s where we’ll shine a light on those efforts. It takes a village, people. Stay tuned!

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“Virginia’s Favorite Architecture” Exhibition at Virginia Center for Architecture

Architects across the state nominated the ICA’s Markel Center for Virginia’s Favorite Architecture, a contest and exhibition organized by the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects. After voting by the public, the ICA was ranked no. 49 out of 100 structures. An impressive feat considering the ICA’s Markel Center is the only unbuilt structure on a list that includes Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and Virginia state capitol, as well as other widely regarded structures. The exhibition runs through Oct. 19 at the Virginia Center for Architecture.