Institute for Contemporary Art raises more than $23 Million

The ICA building will open in the spring of 2015 on the corner of Broad and Belvidere streets.
The ICA building will open in the spring of 2015 on the corner of Broad and Belvidere streets.
The ICA building will open in the spring of 2015 on the  corner of Broad and Belvidere streets.

Samantha McCartney
Staff Writer

The Institute for Contemporary Art is nearly halfway to its fundraising goal.

Scheduled to open in the Spring of 2015, the ICA has raised $23.5 million to date. The ICA estimates the total project to cost $50 million, which includes $35 million for construction and $15 million for the endowment campaign, according to ICA spokesperson Carrie Culpepper.

The ICA will be funded completely through private donations. Culpepper said the top donors to the project include Katie and Steve Markel, and Pam and Bill Royall, who each gave a gift of $5 million. Both couples are ICA Campaign Committee co-chairs.

Other contributions include a $500,000 gift the Pollak Society, a group of VCUarts’ patrons in the Richmond community; a $2 million gift from True Farr Luck, a Richmond-based philanthropist; and a $750,000 matching grant for a total gift of $1.5 million from the Virginia-based Cabell Foundation.

The 38,000-square-foot building is set to be constructed on the corner of Broad and Belvidere streets, one of downtown’s busiest intersections.

The building was designed by Steven Holl Architects, an international award-winning architectural company, best known for designing Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Simmons Hall, the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki and the Bellevue Arts Museum in Washington.

While many museums boast relics and masterpieces of the past, the ICA will focus on the innovations within the modern art world.

“Unlike traditional museums, the ICA won’t own a collection. Instead, it will be focused on exhibitions of the latest contemporary art in a variety of mediums, such as visual art, performance, film, especially as it relates to the issues of our time,” Culpepper said.

VCU will close Anderson Gallery; however, the ICA affords a new opportunity and a much larger venue for students to display their artwork.

Lisa Freiman, Ph.D., formerly the senior curator and chairperson of the contemporary art department at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, was chosen as the inaugural director of the ICA. She will also serve as an instructor in the School of the Arts. Freiman’s vision for the ICA extends beyond the VCU campus.

“This non-collecting museum will enhance our renowned art school, and encourage creative thinking across the university, the greater Richmond community, and the international art world,” Freiman said.

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