GW Corcoran School of the Arts and Design Celebrates the ‘NEXT’ Generation of Artists at Annual Exhibition

Student projects represent a culmination of learning experiences and glimpses of potential

Yacine Fall with her sculpture
Photo credit: BFA Fine Arts student Yacine Fall by Denny Henry
April 23, 2019

Burgeoning Corcoran artists will present projects focused on the cultures that define them, exploring current themes such as the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, harassment on the D.C. metro and family history. This year the George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design will celebrate “NEXT” with an opening reception on April 25; the exhibition will be on display today through May 20. Students at the Corcoran have exhibited their final thesis projects shortly before graduation for more than 30 years. In 2011, the exhibition came to be known as “NEXT” in a nod to the public to seeing “what’s next” in contemporary art from fresh perspectives.


The annual “NEXT” showcase displays the talents of graduating undergraduate and graduate students who honed their skills in the classrooms and galleries of the Corcoran School. The showcase provides a unique opportunity for employers and art enthusiasts to observe the work of up-and-coming contemporary artists up close and in-person. These projects take myriad forms, from dance performances, digital media and production design to photography, research and interior architecture.


“’NEXT’ has given me the platform and support necessary to truly express my abiilty as a creative cultural leader,” Julia Scolapio, a Bachelor of Arts student in the Corcoran dance program, said. “The Corcoran community has placed a high level of trust in me to create a socially relevant work that is driven by creativity and leadership, skills that I have developed over the last four years as student in the dance program.”


The members of the class of 2019 will exhibit their projects in the atrium and various galleries throughout the historic and newly renovated Flagg Building.



“NEXT” will feature the work of more than 80 student artists, including 49 pursuing Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in digital media design, fine art, graphic design, interior architecture, photography, music, dance and photojournalism, and 32 Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts students studying exhibition design, interior architecture, production design, fine art, classical acting and new media photojournalism.


Highlights from this year’s inventive collection of works include:


“Underground” by new media photojournalism student Margaret Wroblewski, MA

Ms. Wroblewski’s project was influenced by her personal experience in which she was publicly traumatized on the Washington, D.C. subway. Since her encounter, she decided to turn to her camera in order to share her story and the stories of countless other women who have been through similar experiences. “Underground” showcases 25 stories of harassment within the D.C.


“Communication Access and Language Barriers” by graphic design and digital media design student Renee Glanville, BFA

Ms. Glanville is a member of the deaf community and is using her talent in digital media design to showcase a new perspective on communication. Her thesis promotes understanding between the deaf and hearing communities through projections and videos featuring people trying to read lips, poster and finger spelling.


“Marketing Female Empowerment: Genuine or Superficial” by graphic design student Spencer Strauss, BFA

Ms. Strauss knows good design is transformative, but is interested in exploring the fine line between designing for business and making art for social change. As a female designer, Ms. Strauss wants to explore the relationship between gender dynamics and design. She hopes through her op-ed style thesis she can delve deeper into the feminist movement, analyzing whether gendered marketing truly uplifts women.


“La Quinceañera” by fine art photography student Ashley Llanes, BFA

Ms. Llanes’ project explores the ethnic conservation of family values and the gender and cultural expectations that are introduced to a woman on her 15th birthday through the emulation of her family’s quinceñera photos. She draws inspiration from the quinceañera portraits of her mother, grandmother and great grandmother.


“Homesick,” by fine art student Seung Hyun Rhee, BFA

Mr. Rhee is from Seoul, South Korea, and has been studying in the United States for the past 12 years. He considers Washington, D.C. his home but admits the differences between D.C. and South Korea can feel alienating. “Homesick” allows him to reconnect with his Korean roots through music as he creates his own art using photos from concerts and scans of album covers.



“NEXT” presents a selection of culminating projects by graduating students at the George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. Each degree program requires students to successfully complete a thesis project. Projects may take many forms—from written research papers to a series of paintings. Students exhibit their projects on the walls of the Corcoran’s historic Flagg building and present pictorial and oral presentations to an audience of their peers, faculty, arts professionals and the GW community. In addition to presenting visual art, “NEXT” features performances by graduating dance and music students. These performances will be held on select days and times found here:


Admission for “NEXT” is free and open to the public. The exhibition is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m. The Corcoran is located at 500 17th St. NW.  Visitors should enter via the main entrance, located on 17th St. NW between New York Avenue NW and E Street NW.  For more information, including a press kit, student portfolios and exhibition events, visit and Follow “NEXT” on social media at #CorcoranNext.