Welcome to the Institute for Contemporary Art

Opened on April 21, 2018, the ICA is a non-collecting institution that showcases an ever-changing slate of exhibitions, performances, films, and special programs that translate our world into every medium.

Admission is free and open to all.

Located at the corner of Belvidere and Broad streets, on VCU’s Monroe Park Campus in Richmond, Virginia. The LEED-Gold certified building, the Markel Center, was designed by Steven Holl.

About VCU and VCUarts

VCU is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 222 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences, and humanities.

One of the nation’s leading schools of arts and design, VCU School of the Arts offers 15 undergraduate and 10 graduate degree programs in fine arts, design, performing arts, historical research, and pedagogical practice. Distinguished faculty members are internationally recognized in their respective fields, contribute significantly to the stature of VCU, and are committed to mentoring the next generation of artists, entrepreneurs, scientists, scholars, and engaged citizens of diverse communities around the world. Its campus in Qatar provides students and faculty with a direct tie to the Middle East, and underscores the school and university’s commitment to global education and experience.

Q: Why was the ICA created?
A: According to U.S. News & World Report, VCUarts is the #1 public university art and design program in the United States. Given this, VCU administrators, arts faculty, and community members decided that VCU should have an arts institution that complements the level of extraordinary work produced both at VCU and in the community beyond. The ICA is intended to inspire students, faculty, and the general public by bringing nationally and internationally respected artists and scholars to the city of Richmond.

Q: What kind of programming does the ICA offer?
A: As a non-collecting institution, the ICA features changing exhibitions of visual art and design, experimental performances, films, and programs that encourage in-depth consideration of the central issues of our time. We offer public programs that provide opportunities to engage with and talk about the artwork, experience culture, and inform civic life.

Q: Does the ICA show work by VCU faculty and alumni?
A: The ICA features the highest quality of art being created by professional artists and designers internationally, which may include our talented alumni and faculty.

Q: How is the ICA being funded?
A:  Contributions came from corporations, foundations and individuals around the country, raising more than $37 million for the initial capital campaign. The Richmond community was extraordinarily supportive throughout the campaign, recognizing the need for this kind of resource for our university and broader community. An endowment campaign to help support the operations of the ICA is ongoing.

Q: Will the Anderson Gallery be replaced by the ICA?
A: The Anderson has been an important venue for VCUarts for more than 35 years. Reopened in 2016, the Anderson is dedicated to student exhibitions and programs, while the ICA serves as a showcase for contemporary artwork and performances from around the world.