We recently had the exciting opportunity to speak with Rebecca Huff Hunter, Communications Associate at the Institute of Contemporary Art, located in University City. We were fascinated by the unique philosophy and impressive rotation of exhibits and events this museum offers. Hunter gave us the inside scoop on the origins, current projects and future plans of the ICA while sharing her enthusiasm for the museum’s incredible staff and “cutting-edge” exhibitions.
ICA was founded in 1963 by former UPenn, Dean of Architecture, Holmes Perkins. From the very beginning, the museum’s mission has been to expose the public to the magnificence of contemporary visual art. Since its formation, ICA has developed an international reputation as a center for art and culture. As part of The University of Pennsylvania, ICA works with students and professionals in order to create the best exhibits and events possible. In order to uphold ICA’s mission, the museum offers 100% free admission thanks to a gift from generous donors and art enthusiasts, Amanda and Glenn Fuhrman. By remaining “free for all,” the ICA hopes that guests will return again and again, to connect with the artwork, exchange ideas, feel inspired and express themselves!
The ICA offers a number of different avenues for people to connect with their exhibits and Rebecca Hunter guarantees that you will find something of interest “whether you’re really into museums or visual art is a totally new experience for you.” The museum offers guided tours, workshops, film screenings, artist talks, readings and teen days. They keep a packed calendar of events aimed at offering a variety of ways for people to come together and experience dynamic new artwork. The museum completely changes their exhibitions three times each year, offering a steady supply of brand new creations to admire. The ICA is deeply immersed in the extensive artistic culture of Philadelphia and celebrates the unique spirit of this city. Hunter feels that “there is a sense in Philadelphia that you really can do whatever you want” and the ICA does its best to mirror this sentiment.
The ICA has some big plans for the future. They plan on adding a new teen internship to their program in order to introduce high school students to the arts and educate them about professional creative careers. They will also be opening a new show on February 4, entitled, Barbara Kasten: Stages and they urge everyone to come and learn more about this influential artist. ICA will continue with its busy schedule of revolving exhibits, programs and events, offering Philadelphians the opportunity to experience some of the newest contributions to the art world.
The Institute of Contemporary Art is a fantastic Philadelphia attraction that significantly contributes to the culture of our city. If you are a Philly local or visitor, we highly recommend taking some time to explore ICA, experience something new and gain some new perspectives of your own.