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February 11, 2014

The Institute Of Contemporary Art Marks Its 50th Anniversary With A Visit From Questlove And The Opening Of ICA@50: Pleasing Artists And Publics Since 1963, Wednesday, February 12

On the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, the Institute of Contemporary Art launches an exhibit to commemorate 50 years of bringing world-class contemporary exhibits to Philadelphia. (Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

A stronghold of cutting edge art for half a century, the Institute Of Contemporary Art launches a six-month celebration of its golden anniversary tomorrow, Wednesday, February 12.

Founded in 1963, the ICA has earned international acclaim among contemporary art museums. Ever since now-iconic artist Andy Warhol and his entourage caused a near-riot there way back in 1965, ICA has been known for shaking up the city with shows revealing the hottest and coolest trends in contemporary art.

To mark the passing of this momentous anniversary, the University City museum presents an expansive exhibition that both looks back and ahead in ICA@50: Pleasing Artists And Publics Since 1963, on view through August 17.

Organized chronologically to express the trajectory of the institution from inception to present day, the sweeping display takes over the entire second floor of the museum with a series of 50 micro-exhibitions, set to rotate every two weeks.

Featuring everything from film to painting to sculpture — and a remarkable 18 commissions — the ambitious celebration features the work of more than 50 contemporary artists including familiar Philadelphia art-scene names like Zoe Strauss, Billy Dufala, Sarah Stolfa, John Dixon Hunt, Anthony Campuzano and many, many more.

In addition to the exhibit itself, which is always on view for free, more than 50 free public programs are scheduled between February and July. For a complete schedule of events like writing workshops, lectures and screenings check here.

To launch this exciting exhibit, a formidable fete is planned for this Wednesday, February 12, with the grand opening celebration welcoming the public starting at 6:30 p.m.

From 6:30 to 8 p.m., a free-for-all public reception invites art lovers for a first look at ICA@50. At 7 p.m., performance artist Lior Shvil presents a piece, followed by what just might turn into an all-out bash.

From 8 to 10 p.m., none other than The Roots’ Questlove and DJ PHSH will rock the party with DJ sets — yup, for free.

We recommend arriving early, as this art party promises to be one solid gold celebration.

ICA@50: Pleasing Artists and Publics Since 1963
When: Public opening, Wednesday, February 12, 6:30-10 p.m.; Exhibit, February 12-August 17
Where: University of Pennsylvania, 118 S. 36th Street
Cost: Free
More info: www.icaphila.org

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