Exterior view of an art gallery.
The VCU entrance to the Markel Center. (Photo by Iwan Baan, courtesy of Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU)

Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU nominated as one of USA Today’s best new museums

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The Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University has been nominated in USA Today’s 2020 10Best Readers' Choice travel awards. An expert panel selected the ICA as a contender for Best New Museum. “Each year brings a slew of new collections for museum lovers,” the 10Best.com website says about the category. “These museums, ranging from avant-garde art galleries to colorful children’s museums, represent the best openings of the past two years.”

The contest gives voters until Feb. 17 to vote for the candidate of their choice at https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-new-museum/. A person can vote once a day for the run of the contest. Winners will be announced Feb. 28 on 10Best.com.

The ICA, which opened in April 2018, offers a generous, rigorous, and risk-taking curatorial program as part of VCU’s commitment as a public urban research university to uniting diverse audiences, informing and activating the cultural landscape of Richmond as a progressive Southern city, promoting inclusion and social justice, and posing important critical and creative questions to the academic community and the ICA’s audience at large. The ICA highlights every medium through a changing lineup of exhibitions, live performances and film screenings. Even the building itself is a work of art, designed by Steven Holl Architects with a titanium-zinc and etched-glass exterior.

Its current exhibition in its “Provocations” series is by Guadalupe Maravilla, an artist who, at age 8, immigrated alone to the United States from El Salvador in order to escape the Salvadoran Civil War. Combining drawing, sculpture and performance, Maravilla’s installation “Disease Thrower” draws on his own experiences with illness, migration and the anxieties experienced by undocumented peoples.