From One to Another

After 18 weeks of closure in spring 2020, the ICA reopened its doors in July, voluntarily closed again in December, and reopened in March 2021.

Virtually and collaboratively organized by the ICA’s curatorial team, i’m yours celebrated the power of seeing art in person, inviting visitors to connect — or reconnect — with favorite works from the ICA collection.

The exhibition’s final gallery offered a salon-style installation of portraits with which visitors could unabashedly interact.

Returning audiences found new resonance with Ragnar Kjartansson’s The Visitors and its themes of connection in isolation.

Breathtakingly prescient”

The Washington Post on The Visitors

William Kentridge’s multimedia KABOOM!, a new major acquisition making its U.S. premiere, prompted new thinking about world history by immersing viewers in the experience of the two million African porters used by Colonial forces during World War II.

Hosting programs online offered unusual opportunities to welcome artists from afar, from their own spaces, such has hearing William Kentridge speak about KABOOM! from his studio in South Africa.

Zanele Muholi also joined us from South Africa to discuss their work depicting Black queer communities there.

Shortly before his exhibition opened at the ICA on July 1, 2021, Virgil Abloh joined choreographer Josh Johnson and Ruth Erickson, Mannion Family Curator, for a virtual Artist’s Voice discussion spanning creativity, social justice, and breaking barriers.

Virtual Talking Taste events gave participants a chance to cook along with celebrated chefs based locally or further afield, including Susana Trilling, an expert in Oaxacan cuisine.

Performance offerings also moved online, including popular DJ Brunches and virtual Harborwalk Sounds. Select performers made use of the ICA architecture in their recordings, such as Kweeng Doll, who created a dynamic performance on the Grandstand.

A second ICA Forum on racism, art, and public health brought together a range of speakers from government, public health, and the arts.

In a highlight of the year, the ICA was announced as the commissioner of the U.S. Pavilion at the 2022 Biennale di Venezia, presenting the work of Simone Leigh.

The ICA expanded its ongoing weekly food distribution program this year to include monthly Art Kits featuring supplies and family-friendly activities created by local artists.

For three months leading up to the November 2020 election, visitors could register to vote at the ICA on weekends and Free Thursday Nights.

When it comes to rhetoric around art serving social purpose, the ICA walks the walk.”​

— Murray Whyte​, The Boston Globe​

While Play Date kids programming moved online, free admission continued for families the last Saturday of the month and for youth 18 and under every day.

Participants in ICA Teen programs connected online and in person for mentorship, mutual support, and much-needed creative outlet.

New acquisitions added works by artists with ties to Boston and to the ICA's exhibition program (click for details).