We believe in the socially transformative power of art and artists.
We declare that this power can be unleashed through many kinds of artistic practices and the deliberate inclusion of many voices.
We commit to activating the ICA as an inclusive platform to research, support and share art’s transformative power.
Declarations mark beginnings, clarify intentions, and propose a social contract. This is true whether we think about something as private as a declaration of love between two people, or as public as the Declaration of Independence. Declarations invite response, whether we agree or disagree. They can take many forms—words, actions, works of art.
The ICA’s inaugural exhibition is itself a declaration, a first response to the question “what can the ICA contribute to its context?” It proposes that artists’ declarations are especially crucial during this intense period of change in the U.S. Emphasizing new work by artists based in Richmond and around the globe, it deliberately mixes work by artists of varied generations, backgrounds and perspectives. Such diversity is essential to any healthy community, whether a university, a city or a nation. These works mirror the multitude of voices that we encounter on a daily basis, speaking in different modes, tones, and intensities.
Exploring the exhibition
There are many paths through Declaration. You may start on any floor of the ICA. You will find art throughout the building—the open spaces of the Markel Center allow encounters with art and ideas from many vantage points.
Because contemporary art takes varied forms, throughout the building you will encounter art that ‘speaks’ in many ways: art for looking, art for listening, art that invites participation. There are also projects created in collaboration with Richmonders—here and around the city.
Parents may wish to preview Declaration before bringing children.
Peter Burr with Porpentine Charity Heartscape
Amos Paul Kennedy Jr.
Lily Lamberta and All the Saints Theater Co.
Cannupa Hanska Luger
Curtis Talwst Santiago
Declaration is co-curated by Stephanie Smith, Lisa Freiman, and Amber Esseiva, with Johanna Plummer and Lauren Ross.
Lead funding is provided by Altria.
Stephen Vitiello’s project is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.