Michael Lease is the Director of Facilities, Installation, and Exhibition Design for the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Before joining the ICA, he was the Head of Exhibitions and Design at VCU’s Anderson Gallery, where he undertook the design and coordination of numerous individual and group exhibitions. Before its closing, the Anderson Gallery was the exhibition venue for VCU’s top-ranked School of the Arts.
In addition to his work as an exhibition designer, Lease is an artist and educator working to engage various Richmond communities, through collaborative projects and exhibitions, to reveal and retain the complex and important stories of these communities. His Photography has been shown from California to Virginia and as recent as 2015 Lease received a VMFA Fellowship as well as participated in the Museum’s exhibit, “Organic: Photographs of the Natural World.”
He relishes Public Art Projects like the project he created, “Driving Richmond: Stories and Portraits of GRTC Operators.” The public work is more of a collaborative effort that makes the work appear to be more of a community project than a single artist's project.”~ Interview with Brad Kuttner from RVA MAG's 2014 June issue.
Since 2009, Michael has been a member of 1708 Gallery’s Board of Directors, serving as president in 2013, and is a founder and board member of Milk River Arts, a new not-for-profit organization that provides career support for artists with special needs.
Michael has a BFA from Frostburg State University out of Frostburg, MD and received his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University