The director of Penn's Insitute for Contemporary Art, Amy Sadao, has stepped down after seven years in her position.
Sadao will now be pursuing a book project on museums, an ICA press release stated. Provost Wendell Pritchett has named John McInerney as ICA Interim Director. McInerney is currently the executive director of Penn's Sachs Program for Arts Innovation and will serve in both roles until a permanent ICA director is named.
ICA, located on 36th and Sansom streets, showed 51 exhibitions of underrepresented artists during Sadao's tenure. Her statement in the ICA press release stated that she was "guided by questions of what a feminist, anti-racist, queer-and trans-embracing contemporary museum would look, feel, and act like."
"It has been a privilege to work alongside ICA’s Board of Overseers and a spectacularly talented staff. Together, we extended ICA’s bold history as a place to explore the unknown, the poetic, and presented contemporary artists’ affective and political contributions as an admission-free kunsthalle,” Sadao wrote in a statement to the press release.
Before she was named ICA Director in 2012, Sadao served for 10 years as the executive director of the New York-based nonprofit organization Visual AIDS. She succeeded Claudia Gould, who left the ICA after more than a decade of leadership to join the Jewish Museum in New York.
Vice Provost for Faculty Anita Allen will chair the Provost’s Advisory Committee to select the next ICA director. The committee will commence the process this month.
Founded in 1963, the ICA is a part of Penn's campus and is governed under the Office of the Provost. Within the past few years, the ICA has collaborated with different classes on campus which students' projects were featured in exhibits. In 2017, the ICA collaborated with Penn's Creative Writing Program to host a panel at the Kelly Writers House called "Race and Form: A Dialogue." The partnership also resulted in series of six reading groups that discussed poetry related to the exhibit, Speech/Acts, which featured the work of artists inspired by black experimental poetry.
The ICA is featured in Penn President's Amy Gutmann's Power of Penn, which is her ongoing fundraising campaign. The fundraising goal for the ICA is $30 million, according to the Power of Penn website. The ICA does not charge for admission but is currently closed to the public through Sept. 12 for gallery installation.
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