A transgender singer in a colorful rainbow-striped dress holds a note while standing on a staircase

NEXT Exhibition

Events, Performances and Exhibitions

Discover NEXT: A Celebration of Student Art

Held every spring, NEXT is a dynamic, interactive and innovative end-of-year show that gives D.C.’s art community the opportunity to see the latest in contemporary art and scholarship from fresh perspectives. Visitors have the opportunity to observe the capstone work of students in the fields of studio arts, art history, decorative arts and design history, interior architecture, design, dance, theatre, music and museum studies, while students are able to build connections with potential employers and clients.

What is NEXT?

The NEXT exhibition is the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design's annual celebration of the brilliance and promise of its students. Each degree program at the Corcoran requires students to successfully complete an end-of-year project and then collaborate with other programs to present an exhibition.

In 2021, for the first time in its history, NEXT will be a virtual experience, with a website and online performances and shows, launching on May 10, 2021.  NEXT is an official GW bicentennial event and we celebrate its tenth anniversary. The branding for NEXT 2021 was created by graphic design students in a year-long class called DesignLab.

If you are a student participating in this year’s NEXT, you can read FAQs on how to submit your work in April.

NEXT projects may take many forms—from written research papers to a series of paintings. They all represent a culmination of a student's learning experiences at the Corcoran and a glimpse of future promise. Students exhibit their theses and present pictorial and oral presentations of their projects to an audience of their peers, faculty and the George Washington University community.


The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the Corcoran from hosting NEXT 2020, but many student artists still found creative ways to complete or rework their projects. See the work from the Class of 2020.

2020 Featured Students

2020 Exhibition Book

From theatrical performances to research papers, installations and more, NEXT is a multidisciplinary show that represents a culmination of a student’s learning experiences. Get a glimpse of their talents in 2020's NEXT Exhibition Book.

2020 Exhibition Book


2020 Music Capstones

NEXT Music Capstones are the culminating projects for graduating music majors. These capstones may take the form of a recital, thesis, composition, or any combination of items, but all require an academic research component as part of the Music B.A. curriculum.

2020 Music Capstones

2020 Art History Graduation Booklet

To see examples of the class of 2020's culminating projects and work, see our Graduation Booklet (designed by Julie Hansen, B.F.A. Graphic Design '18). This booklet shows the diverse range of studies by our outstanding students in the Corcoran Art History program.


2020 Museum Studies Exhibition

In 2020, a museum studies class put together an exhibition as part of NEXT, originally to be on view at the same time as the rest of the exhibition. Their show centered on the theme that people, stories, and objects move Sometimes this is an act of individual agency, sometimes it is the consequence of systematic displacement and violence. This exhibition recovers eight stories of movement, memory, and return.

Museum Studies Exhibition

"Universal Uncertainty" - Photojournalism and Fine Art Photography Thesis Work from 2020

After their long-awaited thesis show was been postponed, the BFA students in Photojournalism and Fine Art Photography opted to present their work collectively in this publication and to put it in the hands of people with whom they hope to build professional relationships. The small selection of images contained within is only a glimpse of their larger projects. See the work of the class of 2020.

Universal Uncertainty

"if the sky falls / they shall have / clouds for supper" - Photography from Spring 2020 by Corcoran students

These photographs were created during the COVID-19 crisis during a time of quarantine, by the students and professor of 'Making Meaning: Narrative and the Art of the Photobook,' at the Corcoran. Photo Editing by Corcoran alumna Katie Dance and Professor Matt Eich. For a full list of the contributors, see page 78 of the book. Published by Slow Dance Press.

if the sky falls / they shall have / clouds for supper


Amina Javed


See 2019's NEXT: A Virtual Tour





Read about 2021’s common questions from students about the NEXT exhibition.