The founding Board of Directors met to discuss their mutual vision in October 2007, officially founded the organization in 2009 with the first exhibition project launched in February 2011.
Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art (phICA) is a not-for-profit organization which compliments other regional cultural institutions while differentiating itself through collaboration and community partnerships and by offering new portals of entry for enjoying, understanding, and interpreting contemporary art. phICA was envisioned and is structured to be organic and efficient and is a non-collecting institution with a primary focus on exhibition projects, artist residencies, and arts incubation activities.
What We've Achieved [2016—2017]
phICA produced nine Onloaded solo exhibitions for artists in the phICA repurposed shipping containers on Roosevelt Row, all from Phoenix metro area except two from California and one from Lisbon, Portugal.
We included a printed handout for Third and First Friday visitors to promote critical thinking, interpretation and enjoyment.
phICA produced seven Emerging Curator exhibits in phICA Containers in the second season of our critically-acclaimed Emerging Curator Initiative.
Thirty artists exhibited and we included a printed handout for Third and First Friday visitors to promote critical thinking, interpretation and enjoyment.
We co-produced five exhibitions in community collaboration with Rhetorical Galleries in the phICA Containers. Eight artists exhibited and we included a handout printed by phICA for Third and First Friday visitors to promote critical thinking, interpretation and enjoyment.
phICA co-produced one large-scale photography exhibition in community collaboration with ASU Northlight Gallery at ASU’s Grant Street Studios with artists from the USA and Europe. Ten artists exhibited and we included two artist lectures/educational programs and a handout printed by phICA, which was given to people who attended the exhibition over a six-week period.
- We launched phICA Art Leaning (PAL) Project showing work at the phICA Containers by artists who primarily work in the streets and who are often overlooked by galleries. We included a printed handout for Third and First Friday visitors to promote critical thinking, interpretation and enjoyment.
- phICA completed a 2+ year late-career artist Beth Ames Swartz Film project (Cultural Incubation, an important part of our mission and operations), which included fundraising, film production, marketing, and distribution by KAET/Channel 8 to PBS. phICA served as the film’s Executive Producer and fiduciary agent. Our name/logo is presented on film credits and in all national/international film promotional materials. Arizona PBS is airing the film on March 31, 2017.
We continued our recently launched Initiative of publishing mid-career artists’ catalogs (FY2016: Carolyn Lavender and Christine Cassano) for Patricia Sannit and Christopher Jagmin in FY2017.
phICA produced an Immersive Artist Residency for Lisbon, Portugal-based visual artist Pedro Vaz. This was the artist’s first visit to the USA. He produced a video to exhibit in our Onloaded series based upon his hiking from the north to south edges of the Superstition Mountains Wilderness Area. phICA and its logo are mentioned in the video credits. Vaz will exhibit the video at his solo exhibition in Mexico City in June 2017.
phICA relaunched its project of sending Phoenix-based artists out of Phoenix (e.g., Sue Chenoweth in 2012) by sending Rigo Flores to Porto, Portugal for a one-month residency. (A local online magazine, Arts Beacon, described Flores as “an artist to watch in the valley” after viewing his 2015 exhibition through phICA’s Onloaded program.) This is an international collaboration established between phICA and Maus Hábitos-Espaço de Intervenção Cultural in Porto that promotes understanding by building bridges between people, phICA’s overarching curatorial objective. It also provides artists with personal growth opportunities by residing somewhere completely different from the comfortable boundaries of Phoenix.