Virginia Commonwealth University announced on Wednesday that it had appointed Lisa Freiman to be the inaugural director of its forthcoming Institute for Contemporary Art, which is slated to open in 2015 on the college’s Richmond campus in a building designed by Steven Holl Architects. Freiman, who is currently the senior curator and chair of the Indianapolis Museum of Art‘s contemporary art department, will also be a professor in VCU’s School of the Arts. She begins her new job on July 1.
In her 10 years at the IMA Freiman oversaw the institution’s contemporary art commissions, exhibitions, acquisitions, and publications. She also helped raise some $10 million to support the department’s programs, and was instrumental in developing the institution’s The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, which opened in 2010. The following year she was the commissioner of the U.S. pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, where she curated a presentation by the artist duo Allora & Calzadilla.
“Her work in Indianapolis exemplifies how a smart, dynamic program can energize a city and increase its engagement with contemporary art,” VCU provost and senior vice president for academic affairs Beverly Warren said in a statement. “Lisa’s creativity and her visionary leadership will be essential in bringing the ICA to life and ensuring that it plays a vibrant role in both the campus community and the broader international art world.”
“VCU has established itself as a dynamic and diverse center for contemporary practices and I look forward to working with the university’s leadership, faculty, students, and patrons to realize the bold vision that they have put forth to build a leading center for contemporary art,” Freiman said in a statement. “I am confident that together we will build exciting and innovative multidisciplinary programs that will serve as a resource to the campus, the entire Richmond community, and the international art world, complementing the work already being done by VCUarts acclaimed faculty and students.”
— Benjamin Sutton
(Photo by Nick D’Emilio.)