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VCU Institute for Contemporary Art Director Lisa Freiman Steps Down

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA—Virginia Commonwealth University announced Thursday that Lisa Freiman, director of the Institute for Contemporary Art, will step down, effective immediately. Freiman has served as the director of the institution since 2013, during which she assembled in ICA’s curatorial and administrative staff and co-curated its inaugural exhibiton, “Declaration,” and led a $37-million capital campaign.

The Institute for Contemporary Art is expected to open in April, following a six-month delay caused by climate control issues in its Steven Holl-designed building. An interim director will be appointed in the coming weeks, after which the university will begin a nationwide search for a permanent replacement.

“With the completion of the capital campaign last fall, the launch of the endowment campaign, and a dynamic roster of exhibitions and programs in place for the opening and beyond, I would like to turn my attention to some projects that I had put on hold,” Freiman said in a statement. “Now that we have built out our curatorial and administrative staff, I am confident the ICA is in good hands.” She will remain on the faculty at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Arts, where she is finishing a monograph on artist Claes Oldenburg.

VCU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs Gail Hackett commended Freiman for her leadership, honoring how she “advanced the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in the arts and worked to integrate the strategic goals of the university into the ICA.”

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January 11, 2018