The Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU is opening downtown. The building has striking features and sits at the historic intersection of Belvidere and Broad Street.
With its jutting angles and sharp curves, the 41,000 square-foot building may seem intimidating to some. But architect Stephen Holl says it’s an idea of intersection and torsion, in which the entrances form a gateway for those from the city and from the university to enter, “And this is a place of open public invitation.”
The first exhibition is called Declaration and it’s about the power of art to respond to social issues, such as racial justice and gender equality. Thirty four emerging and established artists from Richmond and around the world are on display. And the pieces are a mix of mediums, including video gaming and fabrics.
Detroit based artist Amos Paul Kennedy used a hand-pulled letterpress to create more than a thousand 6 x 8 prints for the exhibit. The prints have personal messages he created as well as ones from a dozen local barber shops and salons from around the city, “This is about the community of Richmond. And it’s kind of a tribute to them and those places that we do not really recognize as a larger society both in Black societies and White societies.”
The Institute for Contemporary Art will open to the public on April 21.