International Center of Photography to Celebrate Artist Mickalene Thomas at Eighth Annual ICP Spotlights on October 23

Annual Event Includes Benefit Luncheon and Silent Auction
Jun 21, 2018
Annual Event Includes Benefit Luncheon and Silent Auction
Mickalene Thomas, Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe: Les trois femmes noires, 2010. © Mickalene Thomas.
Mickalene Thomas, Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe: Les trois femmes noires, 2010. © Mickalene Thomas.

The International Center of Photography (ICP), the world’s leading institution dedicated to photography and visual culture, will celebrate acclaimed artist Mickalene Thomas at the eighth annual ICP Spotlights, taking place on October 23 in New York City. Co-chaired by Peggy Anderson and Debby Hymowitz, the benefit luncheon will include a silent auction and feature an in-depth, on-stage conversation with the honoree.

Inspired by art history as well as popular culture, Thomas’s photographs and paintings of women examine and reimagine concepts of female identity and beauty. Her paintings, which are based on her photographs, are composed of paint, rhinestones, and enamel.

“We’re excited to recognize Mickalene Thomas, a true luminary of the contemporary art world, for her work challenging conventional notions of truth, femininity, and race,” says Mark Lubell, Executive Director of ICP. “Mickalene’s art is incorporated into one of our current ICP Museum exhibitions, Multiply, Identify, Her, and the conversations her work evokes are central to those we are fostering through our education and public programs.”

ICP Spotlights will once again include a silent auction featuring photography from both acclaimed photographers and ICP alumni. Past auctions have featured the work of photographers such as Annie Leibovitz, Adam Fuss, Larry Fink, and more. Funds raised through the event support ICP’s education programs and exhibitions, as well as the Mary Ellen Mark Memorial Scholarship, which supports emerging talent in the field.

“The silent auction is one of the most exciting aspects of Spotlights every year,” says Hymowitz. “The quality and range of work is so impressive!”

Anderson and Hymowitz founded ICP Spotlights in 2011 to shine a light on the immense talent of women influencing the world of photography and visual culture. Previous Spotlights honorees include Lynsey Addario, Laurie Simmons, Lauren Greenfield, Carrie Mae Weems, Mary Ellen Mark, and Shirin Neshat, among others.

Tickets to the event will go on sale on June 21, 2018 and can be purchased per person or per table. For more information or to make reservations, please contact Grace Dowd at 212.857.9714 or Tickets are also available for purchase online at

About Mickalene Thomas

Mickalene Thomas is a 2015 United States Artists Francie Bishop Good & David Horvitz Fellow, distinguished visual artist, filmmaker, and curator who has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. She is known for paintings that combine art-historical, political, and pop-cultural references. Her work introduces complex notions of femininity and challenges common definitions of beauty and aesthetic representations of women.

Thomas holds an MFA from Yale University and a BFA from Pratt Institute. She’s held solo museum exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, Aspen Museum, and L’Ecole des Beaux Arts, Monaco. Recent solo exhibitions include Mickalene Thomas: Do I Look Like a Lady? at MOCA Grand, Los Angeles; Mickalene Thomas: Mentors, Muses, and Celebrities at Aspen Art Museum and Spelman College; and Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs at Aperture Foundation, New York, which is scheduled to travel to several venues across the United States through 2019 and features her notably curated exhibition, tête-à-tête. Other recent shows include the group exhibitions Figuring History at the Seattle Art Museum and You Are Here at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Thomas’s work is in the permanent collections of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Hammer Museum, and Smithsonian American Art Museum, among many others. She is also currently working on solo exhibitions at the Wexner Center for the Arts and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Thomas is represented by Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong; Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago; and Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris and Brussels. She lives and works in New York. 

About the International Center of Photography

The International Center of Photography (ICP) is the world’s leading institution dedicated to photography and visual culture. Cornell Capa founded ICP in 1974 to preserve the legacy of “concerned photography”—the creation of socially and politically minded images that have the potential to educate and change the world—and the center’s mission endures today, even as the photographic medium and imagemaking practices have evolved. Through its exhibitions, school, public programs, and community outreach, ICP offers an open forum for dialogue about the role that photographs, videos, and new media play in our society. To date, it has presented more than 700 exhibitions and offered thousands of classes at every level. ICP brings together photographers, artists, students, and scholars to create and interpret the realm of the image. Here, members of this unique community are encouraged to explore photography and visual culture as mediums of empowerment and as catalysts for wide-reaching social change. Visit to learn more.


Meryl Cooper, The COOPERation, 917.974.0022,

Press Release