Call for Menders! – Lee Mingwei’s The Mending Project

As part of The Mending Project, visitors will bring to the ICA textile items that need mending. The mender will repair the item while engaging in conversation with the stranger who brought it. The aim is not to restore the item to its original condition, but to share as a “gift” memories during the course of this conversation. Volunteer menders will be provided with a complimentary meal from Ellwood Thompson’s at ICA each day worked.

Call for Participation! Richmond: Symphony of a City

Do you dream of sharing untold stories about our city of Richmond? Do you have family legends, speculations, or critical perspectives for Richmond’s future that could make for a great tale? If so, we invite you to contribute story ideas for a new project by artist Marinella Senatore, commissioned by the Institute for Contemporary Art as part of the inaugural exhibition Declaration (April 21 – September 9, 2018.)


Wrapping the ICA’s Headquarters

Inspired by a commitment to creativity, our staff decided earlier this year that the façade of the ICA’s temporary headquarters at 818 West Broad Street should undergo a bold, vivid makeover. Based on the ICA’s brand identity, a once stark white brick storefront now features a bright color palette of red, pink, and purple. Using a 3M brick adhesive vinyl, the front exterior was wrapped from top to bottom with matching laminate for doors and windows. Mounted high above, the ICA’s logo is presented in custom-fabricated white channel letters. Deceptively simple during the day, the logo is illuminated in the evenings for an equally powerful effect. (more…)

A Forum of Ideas — A Collaborative Program with VCUarts Interior Design

This past spring, 38 undergraduate and 8 graduate VCU interior design students were given the opportunity to take their studies beyond the studio and into the real world. In a joint collaboration between ICA staff, School of the Arts Interior Design (IDES) faculty, and BCWH Architecture colleagues, students were asked to examine design challenges presented by the ICA’s forum, a space defined by a 36-foot ceiling, a glass facade, a curving wall, and a sweeping grand staircase.  (more…)

Q&A with Rahim Hassan: Teen Programming at the ICA

Last summer, the ICA and VCUarts Department of Sculpture + Extended Media jointly hosted four high school interns from area schools participating in the Cochrane Summer Economic Institute. The interns were tasked with conducting research on local arts programming for teens and providing recommendations for the creation of teen programs at both the ICA and Sculpture + Extended Media. Rahim Hassan, one of the four interns and a Clover Hill High School senior, discusses his experience and takeaways from participating in this unique summer internship experience.


Garden 2016

The “Secret Garden” Project

The ICA is working with a group of community members to help transform an unused outdoor space at our temporary headquarters into a “Secret Garden” that can be used for events and educational activities. ICA Director Lisa Freiman tapped a number of community members for the project, 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. The team has brainstormed some ideas for the space including a vertical garden and courtyard entertaining space. Dinkus Deane kicked off the improvements with the construction of a metal gate. 

Creating an ICA mOb

To help spread awareness, the ICA team has engaged Middle of Broad (mOb), VCU’s applied design studio located in Richmond Downtown Arts District. Under the guidance of faculty members, VCUarts students from VCUarts’ Interior Design, Graphic Design and Fashion Design & Merchandising departments can elect to participate in mOb and take on real-world projects in the community. We asked our mOb group to generate ideas for spreading the word about the ICA to the VCU and Richmond community. They generated a long list of creative happenings or “mOb Moments” that will take place over the next several months. Our first moment, 99 Red Balloons, happened during the RVA First Fridays art walk in April. Student volunteers lead a balloon parade down Broad Street and engaged the community in conversation about the ICA.

“Free Ice Water” Installation

John D. Freyer’s “Free Ice Water” installation can be seen in the ICA office window through March 31. Here’s a bit about the project.

In 2013, VCU Professor John Freyer begun Free Ice Water, an art project in which he sits down with individuals for conversation over a Mason jar filled with ice water. Intended to be focused and uninterrupted, this conversation can be around personal, even difficult topics. At its conclusion, the participants sip the water, drop a small object of personal significance into the jar, then seal and sign the jar with its lid. This ongoing project is loosely based on therapeutic methods of treating substance addiction, and arose from the artist’s questioning of his own dependency on alcohol.


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…)

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…)