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Markel Center Institute for Contemporary Art

Located at the corner of Broad and Belvidere, near one of the most-traveled entrances to the city, the Markel Center, Institute for Contemporary Art will be a signature building for the School of the Arts and VCU, bringing the most important, cutting-edge contemporary art exhibits in the world to campus and the city of Richmond.

Designed by renowned architect Steven Holl, the ICA, which is expected to be about 32,000-square-feet, will feature approximately 8,000-square-feet of gallery space, an outdoor installation space, a 210-seat auditorium with tiered seating, classrooms, a gift shop, a cafe with a catering kitchen and an entry hall suitable for exhibitions, installations and social events. It will provide a practical and dramatic space for the VCU School of the Arts, which has the top-ranked public graduate arts program in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report.  

Fundraising efforts for the privately funded facility are under way with leadership from Steve and Kathie Markel and Bill and Pam Royall. The ICA is expected to open in the Spring of 2018 

“The ICA will provide a strong cultural connection between the university and the community, offering an innovative, welcoming space and exhibition venue for a broad and diverse audience,” said Michael Rao, Ph.D., president of VCU. “The prominence of the ICA’s location, bordering the city’s Arts District and in the Broad Street corridor that links the VCU Monroe Park Campus with VCU’s Medical Center, has symbolic significance and conveys to the city VCU’s creative aspirations, especially in our top-ranked School of the Arts.”

The ICA will be a non-collecting institution. It will initiate programming and collaborate with other institutions around the world on traveling exhibitions and other events. Offerings will include art and design exhibitions, public lectures, film screenings, performances, educational experiences, children’s programs, labs, artists’ residencies, international awards, symposia and community events and outreach efforts. ICA programming will be designed to engage the wider community, and its events and programs will serve area audiences.

As part of a large research university, the ICA also will provide opportunities to engage students, faculty, artists and others in experimental work that includes collaborations across the arts, sciences, humanities and business, enhancing the student experience.