Corcoran School Marks Completion of Historic Inaugural Year

From an historic partnership to a vibrant influx of talent to the naming of a new director, it was a year of transformation for the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at GW.

“It has been an exciting year of growth and change for GW and the Corcoran,” said Columbian College Dean Ben Vinson. “We are creating something dynamic and unique in the landscape of arts education.”


Corcoran Building

Finalized Agreement
The announcement of a finalized agreement between the Corcoran, the university and the National Gallery of Art, promised to build upon GW’s arts education while preserving the Corcoran legacy.


National Portfolio Day

National Portfolio Day
High school students touted thick portfolios and sketchbooks to the Corcoran’s vast atrium for National Portfolio Day, an annual college recruiting event for aspiring young artists.


Faces of Diplomacy

Faces of Diplomacy
Corcoran photographers, videographers and designers collaborated with the U.S. Department of State on “Faces of Diplomacy,” a multimedia exhibition with displays that featured professionals from the diplomatic service.


Ceramic Bowls

Active in the Community
The Corcoran ceramists transformed clay into contributions for the homeless by creating more than 500 clay bowls that were later auctioned off to donors by the nonprofit So Others Might Eat.


NEXT Exhibition

Annual NEXT Exhibition
The annual student thesis exhibition showcased and served as a launching platform for burgeoning designers and artists. The month-long public exhibition received multiple design awards this year and attracted thousands, including gallerists, curators, curiosity seekers, alumni, family and friends. The installations by the 103 graduating Corcoran students were stunning in their scope: broad panoramas of leaves and clay, sculptures cast from the artist’s own body, powerful photo series’ that both engaged and intrigued, intricate architectural design models, and breathtaking brush strokes of color on canvas.



New Director
There was the appointment of an inaugural Corcoran School Director Sanjit S. Sethi, a veteran arts education leader. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of a legacy institution like the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at the George Washington University,” Sethi said. “I look forward to working with students, faculty, staff and administrators across the Corcoran and GW to cultivate diverse forms of creative practice and educate the next generation of critical problem-solvers.”


Other Major Milestones
• Sale of the Corcoran’s Fillmore Building in Georgetown
• The migration of the Corcoran’s 40,000 volume collection to the Gelman Library
• Launch of a multi-year, multi-phase renovation of the Corcoran historic building