Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond announced today that Joseph H. Seipel, the dean emeritus of the VCU School of Arts, has agreed to serve as interim director of its new Institute for Contemporary Art, slated to open in April. Seipel assumes leadership of the institution after former director Lisa Freiman revealed last week that she is stepping down as director to focus on scholarly projects at VCU.
“I look forward to working with the energetic and highly professional members of the ICA staff who already are well on their way to opening this world-class institute,” Seipel said. The arts professional, who retired from VCU in 2016, was an early advocate of the ICA, serving as the cochair of the committee that chose architect Steven Holl to design the building. Seipel also contributed to planning and fundraising efforts for the arts venue. Previously, Seipel served as the interim dean of the School of Art and Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and as a vice president of the Savannah College of Art and Design.