Carole Harrell, Richmond-based artist and recent graduate of VCUarts Graphic Design department, discusses her expectations and hopes for the ICA.

  1. What does the ICA mean to you and why do you support it?

Having lived in Richmond for nearly four years while earning my BFA in graphic design, I witnessed enormous growth and expansion in the urban campus that was my home. Each day I saw new buildings rise up on and around Broad Street. and as I was finishing my studies in 2014, the ICA began to emerge from a parking lot at the corner of Belvidere and Broad. It occurred to me that this incredibly beautiful architecture would position itself as the beacon that would guide me back and that would also welcome all who followed me. I can’t express adequately how very proud I am to have graduated from VCU School of the Arts. For me the ICA, and the work it will bring to Richmond, is equivalent to opening the door to the world, bringing new ideas and new ways of thinking about art; exposing artists and students of art to things they would not otherwise be able to experience first hand. Additionally, I see it as a source of inspiration for the teachers of art as they encourage exploration of techniques, tools, materials and concepts to allow students to gain confidence in expressing themselves.

  1. What influence has art had on your life?

Art has been how I document my life; a journal of sorts that records different paths, to different places with no particular destination.

  1. What impact do you think the ICA will have on Richmond?

I believe the ICA will stand at the corner of Belvidere and Broad as an icon representing new growth, new thinking, with ever-changing venues to reflect Richmond as a powerfully creative community.

  1. If you could have lunch with any contemporary artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Lynda Reeves McIntyre, Vermont

I met Lynda on a trip to paint in Italy. She was taking a group of University of Vermont students on a study abroad trip and I tagged along. She introduced me to a style of painting new to me and for the first time I found colors and shapes could be arranged on a surface that caused me to feel a place without seeing it firsthand.

Carole Harrell (BFA ’14) continues to live and work in Richmond, her art can be found here.