A long exposure image of cars passing by the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU lit with a projection of an artistic rendering of a word cloud of words that represent the uncommon experience VCU offers: Unafraid, unlimited, understanding, unequaled, uncommon, unexpected, unstoppable and unconventional.
The Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU on the Monroe Park Campus is lit up at August night. (Kevin Morley, Enterprise Marketing and Communications)

ICA at VCU to be moved into VCU School of the Arts

The partnership will build on the close and collaborative relationship that VCUarts and the ICA have enjoyed for years, while maintaining the ICA's deep commitment to community engagement.

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The Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University is being integrated into VCU’s top-ranked School of the Arts, a move that will enable the iconic contemporary art institution to become a more central part of the VCU student experience. The move will be effective July 1, 2024.

“We are incredibly excited by this addition to the school,” said Carmenita D. Higginbotham, Ph.D., dean of the VCU School of the Arts. “This partnership will enable us to build on the close and collaborative relationship that VCUarts and the ICA have enjoyed for years, allowing new and innovative opportunities for students and faculty to engage in critical creative research while maintaining a deep commitment to community engagement.”

By moving the ICA at VCU into the School of the Arts, VCU students will benefit from expanded programming and educational opportunities. 

Located at the intersection of Richmond’s Belvidere and Broad streets on VCU’s Monroe Park Campus and housed within the Markel Center, the ICA at VCU opened in 2018 and is a noncollecting institution that showcases an ever-changing slate of exhibitions, performances, films and special programs. Free and open to the public, the institution has been and will continue to serve as a community resource for VCU, Richmond and beyond.

Additionally, the ICA at VCU is strategically located next to the soon-to-be-built CoStar Center for Arts and Innovation, creating a significant expansion of the School of the Arts’ footprint and a gateway to the university’s campus and Richmond arts district.

“Arts students and faculty have always been the ICA’s closest community,” said Dominic Asmall Willsdon, Ph.D., executive director of the ICA at VCU and an associate professor of art education in the School of the Arts. “Integrated with VCUarts, the ICA can benefit the school and the whole university community in new ways while also enriching what we do for the wider public in the Richmond area and beyond.”

The ICA’s Advisory Board, which consists of artists, VCU leadership and alumni, art world professionals, community leaders, and student and faculty representatives, will continue to support the institute’s mission to curate and produce new art from around the world. The ICA welcomes more than 50,000 visitors a year and has been recognized in the national and international media for the excellence of its exhibitions and programs.

The VCU School of the Arts is among the nation’s top-ranked schools of art and design. In 2021, U.S. News & World Report ranked VCU’s overall fine arts program No. 4 in the U.S., with the school’s sculpture program No. 1, its printmaking program No. 2, its graphic design program No. 4, its kinetic imaging program No. 5 and its painting program No. 12.

Founded in 1928, the School of the Arts has nearly 3,200 enrolled students and offers 18 undergraduate degrees and five master’s degrees.