Rebirth as The Anderson
May 18, 2015 was the day the Anderson Gallery closed its doors for good. Exhibitions were taken down, and the gallery’s permanent collection was moved to James Branch Cabell’s Special Collections and Archives.
Yet, the Anderson building itself would not remain closed for long. The construction of the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU (ICA) hit budget and construction timeline issues. The $35 million dollar building was delayed for more than a year, pushing the opening to 2017. Even with the opening of the Depot as a space for student exhibitions, there was not enough room for all of the graduating art majors.
It was announced that the Anderson building would reopen April 8, 2016 as a solution. The solution became a permanent one. With the ICA pivoting outwards towards exhibitions featuring the work of professional artists for the greater Richmond area, the Anderson has turned inward.
Today the Anderson is described as “VCUarts’ on-campus gallery,” with the purpose to “recognize students as artists in their own right, empowering them to push their artistic practices and engage with audiences as they hone their work.”
While the mission has changed along with the name, the Anderson Galley’s past continues to inform the future of this VCU landmark. As long as VCU remains, the Anderson Gallery will never be “lost forever.”