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Griffin Gallery Opens at the Corcoran

The Corcoran halls have been bustling for weeks as students prepared for the Griffin Gallery opening. Once renovations wrapped up, workers put the finishing touches on the exhibit space.

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The gallery is run for students, by students. The space was conceived as a gallery within the Corcoran School that could show student work in a professional setting.

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Students from multiple disciplines—fine arts, graphics design, exhibition design, and more—collaborated to produce the exhibit. Both the exhibit and reception were organized by a working committee of five curators: Mariah Miranda, Maeve Beal, Leila Eguino, Michael Schiffer, Margeaux Nanfeldt. Corcoran Exhibitions Coordinator Jillian Nakornthap advised the group. The artist chosen for the inaugural show was Kohei Urakami.

Urakami was born in Kanagawa, Japan in 1994. Now a Washington DC resident, he is a senior in Fine Art and works with drawing, printmaking, photography, and video. Growing up in Japan and the United States, he absorbed both cultures and aesthetic values. Although Urakami has exhibited before, Spirits is his first solo show.

Spirits Poster web

The show’s literature describes how well Urakami’s work expresses the gallery’s mission.

In the past three years, Kohei Urakami’s prolific production has garnered notable recognition from the Corcoran community and beyond. Known for his delicate drawing and meticulously executed prints, Urakami uses his talents to execute an exploration of the passing of time in nature. This series works to exhibit this intimate encounter with the ephemerality of light and shadow. The diversity in application also speaks to the Corcoran’s long tradition of preparing artists for the multimedia character of contemporary art. The Griffin Gallery is proud to represent Kohei Urakami as our inaugural artist.

Once preparations and promotions were complete, the students set up the gallery for the opening and crossed their fingers.

A few people wandered in before the event started and mingled in the atrium for refreshments.

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The trickle turned into a flood as the doors officially opened at 6:30. Students, faculty, GWU staff members, and alumni all turned out to see the show.

Griffin Gallery Open

Griffin Crowd

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The student coordinators spoke to the crowd, explaining their contributions to the show and how it all came together.

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After their presentation, Urakami spoke briefly about his work and the philosophy behind his artistic process. All the students were happy with the warm audience reception and look forward to producing more shows.

Griffin Committee

Learn more about Kohei Urakami’s technique and inspirations in this interview.

For more information about the Griffin Gallery, please visit their website.