Presidential Annual Report


ICA advances artistic vitality of VCU, Richmond

Community engagement

While Virginia Commonwealth Univeristy already serves as an essential thread in the fabric of the city of Richmond, its new Institute for Contemporary Art, slated to open in 2015, will add an indelible mark to the cityscape and become a beacon for local, national and international artists.

The $32 million, 38,000-square-foot building, designed by Steven Holl and Chris McVoy, will be located on the corner of Belvidere and Broad streets (one of Richmond’s busiest intersections) and will feature a series of flexible exhibition spaces for the presentation of visual art, theater, music, dance and film, as well as a 240-plus seat performance space, outdoor plazas, a sculpture garden, classrooms and a café.

At the heart of the building’s design is an effort to embrace and emulate the artistic process through architectural flourishes. With seamless links between exhibition spaces, as well as outdoor and indoor transitions, the building will serve as an open experience for visitors and fertile ground for artists to experiment and create across disciplines while simultaneously attracting cutting-edge contemporary exhibits that will place VCU at the forefront of any serious discussion of the arts.

Of course, such a discussion already involves the VCU School of the Arts, as it stands as the top public university graduate arts and design program in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report, which also ranks eight of the school’s programs in the top 10.