Skip to main content
decorative shadow image decorative shadow image

ICA Five-Year Anniversary Celebration

Friday, Apr 21

5:30 PM–10:00 PM


Since opening in 2018, the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU has pioneered innovative programs, opened groundbreaking exhibitions, established valuable community resources, commissioned works from diverse artists, and so much more. We hope you will join us in celebration of these accomplishments, and those to come. Come celebrate the ICA’s fifth anniversary with an evening of casual conversations, music, performances, new works, and other surprises activating the entire building.

The ICA at Five: a Visual History
Take a look back at how our unique space has transformed over the past five years of innovative programming. Internationally acclaimed architect Steven Holl, designer of this landmark building, will hold a conversation over images with project architect Dimitra Tsachrelia and ICA Executive Director Dominic Asmall Willsdon. Pam Kiecker Royall, chair of the ICA Advisory Board, and Michael Rao, president of Virginia Commonwealth University, introduce the event.
Location: Auditorium

Engage in modes of collective reading and playful learning with a series of new commissions for MURRMUR. Sam Taylor’s Materials Library, nicole killian’s between a book and a soft place, and Riley Hooker’s SIT(UATION) will be on view along with a performance by artist effie bowen, experimental refreshments from hel cooper, and ambient DJ sets from Via App and LOKA. The artists will be in conversation with ICA Assistant Curator of Commerce and Publications Egbert Vongmalaithong.
Location: ICA Royall Forum and 2nd Floor Terrace

The Medium is the Massage
Check out artist Vivian Chiu’s intervention in Rafael Domenech’s self-publishing pavilion, The Medium is the Massage, with some of the “sketches” she’s created over the past decade. The artists will be in conversation with ICA Curatorial Fellow Yomna Osman.
Location: True Farr Luck Gallery

So it appears
Discover the two new works that will be unveiled for our current exhibition, So it appears, both developed in residence at the ICA over the past several weeks. Tricky Walsh will present the final chapter of their kaleidoscopic site-specific commission, The Arpanet, while producer and storyteller Sharon Mashihi will offer an audio response to the exhibition. The artists will be in conversation with ICA Senior Curator Sarah Rifky.
Location: ICA Royall Forum

ICA Shop + Café
Get your raffle ticket for the chance to win a meal-and-drink voucher from the ICA shop, as well as a curated package of books, publications, and more drawn from our programs and exhibitions. Prizes include:
Great Force catalog
Dialogues: Irena Haiduk and Martine Syms artist book
Ind.must.y perfume by agustine zegers
Gaylord Phoenix by Edie Fake
Black Encyclopedia of the Air vinyl record by Moor Mother
The Museum is a School postcard by Luis Camnitzer
The Otolith Group: World 3 artist book
Winners will be contacted after the event.
Location: ICA Shop + Café

6:00 pm The ICA at 5: A Visual History
Architects Steven Holl and Dimitra Tsachrelia in conversation with ICA Director Dominic Asmall Willsdon
Auditorium (30 mins)

7:00 pm MURRMURing* with ICA Assistant Curator Egbert Vongmalaithong, artist and designer nicole killian, and artist Riley Hooker
The Royall Forum

7:30 pm MURRMURing* with ICA Curatorial Fellow Yomna Osman and artists Vivian Chiu
True Farr Luck Gallery (Third Floor)

8:00 pm MURRMURing* with ICA Senior Curator Sarah Rifky, artist Tricky Walsh and audio artist and producer Sharon Mashihi
The Royall Forum

8:30 pm Part Partner, a performance by effie bowen
Second Floor (20 mins)

*All MURRMURing talks are 10 minutes long.


Misread Unread Read Re-read Misread Unread Re-read (MURRMUR) is a ten-month exhibition series expanding how we think about reading, publishing, and distributing art, books, and ideas. A research framework developed in conversation with participating artists and educators, working to unfix and disperse knowledge authorship, MURRMUR opens up traditional forms of education into collective self-publishing environments where reading becomes a non-linear act.

MURRMUR features a series of prototypes, projects, publications, and presentations by artists, designers, writers, poets, and publishers, including Rafael Domenech, nicole killian, Riley Hooker, and Sam Taylor.

MURRMUR is curated by Egbert Vongmalaithong, ICA assistant curator of commerce and publications, and Sarah Rifky, ICA senior curator.

Sharon Mashihi (b. 1983, USA; based in New York City) is an audio artist, writer, and producer currently working between radio, performance, and television. She makes podcasts and is passionate about good stories. Author of the acclaimed one-woman limited-series podcast, Appearances, she also spent several years as a session leader at The School of Making Thinking.

Tricky Walsh (b. 1974, Australia; based in New Norfolk, Tasmania) poses the question “How do you rebuild when all the ingredients are reestablished?” through their work. Tricky spends on average eight hours at a time in a state of focused flow, forgetting time, painting in silence, constructing worlds and narratives with shapes, contrast, and color, akin to nonverbal body language. The images develop intuitively into kaleidoscopic paintings embedded with knowledge and interaction.

nicole killian (b. 1982, USA; based in Richmond, VA) is a designer, artist, and educator whose practice oscillates between digital and analog modes for testing publishing projects. Their expanded approach to publishing considers objects as containers for language—language that gets activated when read, passed, held, and handled.

Riley Hooker (b. 1982, USA; based in Brooklyn, NY) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work puts a distorted lens on reality by positioning elements of design, architecture, and popular culture in various states of transition, bringing forward the unstable subject and mutable nature of reality.

Vivian Chiu (b. 1989, USA; based in Richmond, VA) emigrated to Hong Kong at the age of three. Her interests in creating objects and the visual arts led her to attend the Rhode Island School of Design and Columbia University. With an aptitude for problem solving and a sensitivity toward materials, Vivian utilizes continuous deconstruction and reconstruction to create optical sculptures and explore ideas of visibility and perception.

effie bowen (b. 1988, USA; based in Richmond, VA) is an anti-disciplinary artist making work that examines how systems of power influence movement, agency, and attention. effie has a BFA in Dance from Hollins University and is an MFA candidate in Sculpture and Extended Media at VCU.

hel cooper (b. 1997, USA; based in Athens, NY) is a cook practicing in poetry and romance at Lil’ Deb’s Oasis in Hudson, NY. His practice follows pearls, wings, and myth to pleasure at the table.

Via App (b. 1994, USA; based in Brooklyn) is an alias of Dylan Shir, a sonic field researcher, electronic alchemist, and club chaos conduit. They have been releasing and performing under the moniker since 2012, and have conducted their ecstatic, polymorphic live sets internationally since 2014.

Yesenia Rojas (LOKA) (b. 1988, USA; based in Brooklyn) is an artist, composer, and DJ using sound to present ideas of borderless potential, insisting on a dialogue between psychogeography, elasticity, and ritual, which informs their confrontational, yet intuitive and experimental, approach to the sonic landscape. Prioritizing immersion and surrender, they use reimagination and hybridity as critical and transformative tools in their work, which regularly draws on the intersections of power and struggle, memory, water, and the role of futurity in the Caribbean diaspora, as well as its relationship to aesthetic and critical history.