The International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York has picked artist and educator Colette Veasey-Cullors to be the next dean and deputy director of its school. ICP, a leading institution for exhibiting and teaching photography and other image-based practices, serves upwards of 3,000 students each year. She will be the first person of colour to helm the school.
Veasey-Cullors, whose tenure at ICP will begin on 15 June, is currently the interim vice provost for undergraduate studies at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, one of the top-ranked art schools in the United States. She has worked at MICA, in various capacities, for 15 years, prior to which she was an associate professor at Howard University in Washington, DC.
“Veasey-Cullors shares ICP’s vision of photography as a powerful catalyst in international culture,” David E. Little, ICP’s executive director, said in a statement. “She is curious and forward thinking, and she understands the important part art schools play in supporting students’ development as artists and professionals.”
In addition to her pedagogical work, Veasey-Cullors is a practising artist who works primarily in photographic series, which often focus on themes of race, class and age. She has shown her work at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Glassell School of Art and the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, among others. She also serves on the board of the Aperture Foundation, the non-profit photography publisher.
“I have committed my career to building inclusive, diverse, equitable and just communities, while training responsible photographers, artists, scholars, and citizens of tomorrow,” Veasey-Cullors said in a statement. “I am thrilled to join ICP, an institution that is committed to these values and sees them as essential components of a 21st-century education.”
Founded in 1974 by Cornell Capa, the brother of famed photojournalist Robert Capa, ICP has operated exhibition and educational programmes at various locations in Manhattan for nearly 50 years. After long stints on the Upper East Side and then in Midtown, it relocated to the Lower East Side in 2016, first operating from a space on the Bowery and then, in 2020, opening in a large new space it purchased in the new Essex Crossing real estate megadevelopment. Its educational offerings currently include three full-time certificate programmes as well as continuing education and teen courses.
Veasey-Cullors’s pre-decessor, educator and photography magazine editor Fred Ritchin, was appointed as ICP’s dean in 2014 became dean emeritus in 2019. Since then, photographer and film-maker Tom Debiaso had served as interim dean.