Notable Alumni

Our alumni have found success in a range of careers across the country and around the world. They are practicing artists and scholars in studios, galleries, museums, agencies and corporations. Some of our notable alumni over the years include:

  • Pacita Abad, an Ivatan and Filipino visual artist who exhibited her work in over 200 museums, galleries and other venues
  • Ernest Bairstow, architectural sculptor noted for his work on the Lincoln Memorial
  • Duff Goldman, pastry chef and television personality known for the Food Network reality show Ace of Cakes
  • Tim Gunn, fashion consultant and television personality knowns for being the on-air mentor to designers on Project Runway for 16 seasons of the reality competition
  • Dariush Kashani, film, stage and television actor known for appearing in series’ Dietland, Ghost Whisperer, and Madam Secretary
  • David Lynch, filmmaker, painter, musician, actor and photographer known for directing films Dune, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive and the television series Twin Peaks
  • Kerry Washington, actress known for her leading role in the television series Scandal
  • Daniel H. Weiss, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City


See more alumni from different eras below.

Late 1890s-Early 1900s

Eliphalet Frazer Andrews (1835–1915), an American painter known primarily as a portraitist, established an art instruction curriculum at the behest of William Wilson Corcoran at his Corcoran School of Art, and served as its director, 1877–1902. He received many commissions to create both original portraits and copies of images of deceased famous Americans, which are displayed by federal, state, and local institutions. His art is housed at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Ohio State Capitol, and numerous paintings at The White House and the United States Capitol.


Ernest C. Bairstow (1876–1962) was an English-born sculptor known for his decorative work on buildings in Washington, D.C., including the Taft Memorial Bridge and the Lincoln Memorial. He carved the friezes on the outside of the Lincoln Memorial and the inscriptions in the interior.


James Daugherty (1887–1974) was an American modernist painter, muralist, children's book author, and illustrator. Born in North Carolina, as a child he lived in Indiana and Ohio. At the age of nine, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he studied at the Corcoran College of Art. Later, he went to London and studied under Frank Brangwyn. During World War I, he was commissioned to produce propaganda posters for various US Government agencies. He was a WPA artist during the Great Depression, creating many murals. Daugherty wrote and illustrated several children's books, including the Newbery Medal-winning book Daniel Boone in 1939/40, and four of his murals are located in the State Theatre in the Playhouse Square theater district in Cleveland, Ohio.


Thomas Hart Benton (1889–1975) was an American painter and muralist. He was at the forefront of the Regionalist art movement. His fluid, sculpted figures in his paintings often showed the melancholy, desperation and beauty of small-town life. As a child, Benton received art instruction at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. during his father’s tenure in Congress (1897-1905). During World War I Benton served in the U.S. Navy as a "camoufleur," and said that his work for the Navy "was the most important thing, so far, I had ever done for myself as an artist." Benton died in 1975 at work in his studio as he completed his final mural, The Sources of Country Music, for the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee.


Salarrué (1899-1975) was a Salvadoran writer, poet and painter. Receiving a small grant from the Salvadoran government as a student, Salarrué was able to travel to the United States to  further his studies at the Corcoran School of Art, where he trained as a painter from 1917 to 1919. He was one of the most outstanding figures of the Salvadoran literary and artistic panorama of the 20th century.


Allen Tupper True (1881–1955) was an American illustrator, painter, and muralist who specialized in depicting the American West. He studied at the  Corcoran School of Art for a year (1901-02) before moving to study at Howard Pyle’s School of Illustration in Delaware. His murals decorate the state capitols of Colorado, Wyoming, and Missouri, along with the Denver City and County Building, the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Building, and many other structures.



Norma (Rome) Eskenazi (1927-2013), a contemporary American artist, grew up in Washington, D.C. She was awarded a one-year art scholarship to the prestigious Corcoran School at fourteen years old, and at fifteen she won First Prize in a Corcoran art exhibition. After high school, Norma studied art at the George Washington University. As a charter member of the Spectrum Gallery of Georgetown, Washington D.C., she exhibited and sold her work to private collectors worldwide, receiving many awards and citations in numerous private and public competitions. Read more about her work.


Aurelius Battaglia (1910–1984) was an American illustrator, writer, and director. He graduated as one of the Corcoran's most promising students, winning $50 in a Corcoran-sponsored art contest. Hired by Walt Disney Studios in 1937, he contributed to such famous animated films as DumboFantasia, and Pinocchio. In addition to his work in animation, he was also a prolific children’s book illustrator from 1947 until the end of his life.


Ruth Chew (1920-2010) was an American children's author and illustrator of 29 children's books, most of which were fantasy stories involving witches. Chew moved to Washington, D.C. from Minnesota when she was young and attended school there starting in a one-room school-house. She graduated from Western High School in 1936 and then studied at the Corcoran  College of Art for four years. She began her career as a fashion designer, but after taking a break to start her family she switched professions and launched her writing and illustrating career with her first book The Wednesday Witch, published in 1969. Random House is currently reprinting her 29 original stories in both physical and e-book form.


Edwin Finckel (1917-2001) was a jazz performer, composer, conductor, and music educator. Born in Washington, D.C., Finckel was the youngest of six children in a musically-inclined family. His father, a patent attorney, played cello, his mother played the violin, and all of his five elder siblings received musical training,  Unlike his siblings, Edwin was left to his own devices in regard to music. He nevertheless developed a passion and talent for performance and composition. A high school interest in the visual arts won him a scholarship at the Corcoran College of Art. From the age of eighteen on he became increasingly focused on music. Finckel’s best known song, Where is the One (lyrics by Alec Wilder) was recorded by Frank Sinatra on his Where Are You? album.


Eugene Goossen (1921–1997) was an American art critic and art historian who organized more than 60 art exhibitions during his lifetime in colleges, museums, and galleries. He also wrote numerous books and essays for catalogues on contemporary art. He attended Hamilton College, the Corcoran School of Fine Arts, and the Sorbonne, and earned his undergraduate degree at the New School for Social Research.


Bernard O. Gruenke (1913–2012) was an American stained glass artist who produced one of the first faceted (Dalle de Verre) glass windows in the United States in 1949. At sixteen, Gruenke was encouraged in his pursuit of art by Marie Kohler, a member of the bath fixtures company who provided him with a scholarship to the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. Gruenke joined Conrad Schmitt Studios in 1936, furnishing murals, stained glass, and decorating for churches, theaters and public buildings throughout the United States.


Sonya Rapoport (1923–2015) was an American Conceptual and New Media artist. Rapoport studied at the Corcoran School of Art from 1945-46, moving to Berkeley, CA after graduation. She was one of the first women to receive a MA in painting from the University of Berkeley in 1949. Rapoport created Abstract Expressionist paintings throughout the 1960s, but began to experiment with technologically-produced images with her “computer printout” series in the 1970s. She continued to experiment with new technologies in the 1980s and is one of the first artists to utilize the internet in her practice. She was a pioneer among artists using emerging computer technologies, and her works in painting, video, installation, performance, books, and web art continue to be celebrated internationally.



Maliheh Afnan (b. 1935), having grown up in the crossroads between the Persian world, the Arab-Mediterranean culture and Western modernity, was one of the most significant figures on the Middle East art scene in the second half of the 20th century. Born in Palestine to Persian Baha’i parents, the family were obliged to leave Haifa for Beirut in 1949. Afnan graduated from the American University of Beirut in 1955, then later moved with her husband to Washington, D.C., where she received an MA in Fine Arts from the Corcoran School of Art. Having left several war-ravaged landscapes behind her (Palestine, Beirut, Kuwait) and having lived in Paris for over twenty years, she finally settled in London for the last 19 years of her life.


Margaret (Walter) Baldwin, Art History and Fine Arts BA ’63, retired as a public school art teacher in Blue Hill, Maine. Margret paints and runs her own Little Gallery, and runs a program funded by the Maine Arts Commission and the Blue Hill Public Library called "Art History and Hands On.”


Javier Cabada (b. 1931) studied painting at the Escuela Nacional Superior Autónoma de Bellas Artes in Lima, Peru under Oscar Allain Cotera. He also studied at the Corcoran College of Art and Design from 1962-64, and at the Ecola Massana in Barcelona in 1964. Currently, Cabada lives and works in Washington, D.C. and is represented by the Aaron Gallery.


Yvonne Domenge (1946 – 2019), born in Mexico City, studied at the Corcoran School of Art, Washington D.C., and participated in many workshops with Somsy Smuthart, Alberto Pérez Soria, and Kitzia Hoffman among others. During her decades-long career she had more than 50 solo shows and participated in nearly 200 group exhibitions across Mexico, the United States, Canada, France, Switzerland, Great Britain, China, United Arab Emirates and others. In addition to her work as an artist, Domenge was also passionately involved in philanthropy: she participated in projects to address social issues such as housing programs in the Mexican state of Chiapas (Programa Emergente de Vivienda para Chiapas Nuevo Milenio) and worked with the inhabitants of the Buenos Aires neighbourhood, a low-income housing area in Mexico City, to involve them in the creation of sculptural artworks. She was the first Mexican to show her work at the  Millennium Park Boeing Galleries, a large-Scale Sculptures exhibition "Interconnected: The Sculptures of Yvonne Domenge". Furthermore, she was a member of Mexico’s Arts Academy and will always remain an important figure in Mexican Art History.


Peter Egeli (b. 1934) is respected as one of the top portrait artists working today. As a teenager Egeli studied painting at the Corcoran School of Art. After completing a tour of duty in the Marine Corps, Egeli continued his artistic studies at the Maryland Institute of Art in Baltimore, the Arts Students League in New York City, and at The George Washington University. From 1960 to 1967 he taught drawing and painting at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. His portraits hang in the halls of the Pentagon, the distinguished collection of Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the boardrooms of many Fortune 500 companies, and numerous Federal courthouses and cabinet offices.


JW Faul, Art History and Fine Arts BA ’69, says “Etchings weren't selling, so I became an award-winning photographer. Then digital came along, but I still work with film. I've gotten pretty good at it with 49 years of practice.”


Neil Harpe, Fine Arts MFA ’69, is currently teaching printmaking at Maryland Hall of the Arts in Annapolis, MD.


Frederick Hart (1943-1999) was an American sculptor from Atlanta, Georgia. Born on June 7, 1943, Hart studied at the University of South Carolina until 1961, when he was expelled from the city by the Ku Klux Klan after his participation in a civil rights demonstration. Hart then relocated to Washington, D.C., where he enrolled in the Corcoran College of Art + Design and began working on stone carving. Hart quickly mastered the medium and went on to win a competition in which he designed a sculpture for the facade of the Washington National Cathedral. In addition to his work on the Washington National Cathedral, he is best known for his statue Three Soldiers at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Ex Nihiio (1983), a sculptural relief which depicts biblical creation scenes above the doors of the Washington National Cathedral. Hart's bas relief resin, bronze, and stone works conflates religious figurative sensibility with contemporary processes to create evocative sculpture. In the late stages of his career, Hart also notably pioneered cast resin sculpture. He died on August 13, 1999 in Baltimore, MD, and was posthumously awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2004.


Nan Hoover (1931-2008) was born in New York and studied at the Corcoran College of Art from 1950-1955. In 1969, she moved to the Netherlands and participated in many exhibitions throughout Europe. Her career involved teaching video at art schools including the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf. In 1973, Hoover started experimenting with video as an extension of her painting practice and as a documentary medium centered around linear, relatively unedited real-time sequences. Using her own body as a primary artistic device, Hoover challenged dominant Western codes of representation that render women as objects rather than subjects of the gaze. She is considered a pioneer of international light, video, and performance art.


David Keith Lynch (b.1946) is an American filmmaker, painter, musician, actor, and photographer. Lynch started taking Saturday classes at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design in 1964 before moving to Boston to study at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (he later transferred to Pennsylvania Academy). Lynch’s films are best associated with West Coast noir—nearly all his works, namely Mulholland DriveTwin Peaks, and Wild at Heart, take place in either California or Washington state—but Lynch spent some of his formative years in the D.C. area.


Eugene J. Martin (1938-2005) was an African American visual artist. After attending the Corcoran School of Art in Washington D.C. (1960–1963), Eugene became a professional fine arts painter who defied association with any artistic movements, considering artistic integrity his only guide. He spent most of his life in Washington, D.C., briefly living in Chapel Hill, NC and eventually following his wife to Lafayette, LA, where he died in 2005.


Madiha Umar (1908–2005) was an Iraqi artist who is known as one of the first Arab artists to incorporate calligraphy with abstract art, making her work a  precursor to the Hurufiyya movement.  She was also the first woman to receive a scholarship from the Iraqi government to study in Europe. She relocated to Washington, D.C. in 1942 and received her MFA from the Corcoran School of Art in 1959 (she also studied art education at the George Washington University). After her arts education she moved back to Iraq, where she taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad and joined the One Dimension Group founded by Shakir Hassan Al Said in 1971.


César Valverde Vega (b. 1928) was a Costa Rican painter, writer, and lawyer, planner, public official, and diplomat. He was one of the first muralists in Costa Rica and a member of “Grupo Ocho,” a group of Costa Rican artists who introduced abstract art in Costa Rica in the 1960s, which generated an artistic revolution in the national cultural environment. He studied primary school at Buenaventura Corrales School and secondary school at Colegio Seminario, where he graduated from high school in 1945. He obtained a law degree at the insistence of his parents, at the University of Madrid, Spain. He received advanced artistic training at the University of Costa Rica, the Delle Belle Arti Academy at the Scuola di Nudo in Rome, the Regional School of Art in Manchester, England, and at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C.


Elise Wright, Art History and Fine Arts BA ’69, worked as a graphic artist in the DC area from 1967 until 1974, when she moved to the Seattle area in the other Washington. After 10 years living in London, England and Ventura County, CA she lives on an island in Puget Sound.


Susan (Dushman) Zahler, Fine Arts BA ’69, enjoyed an incredible career in business - allowed by her GW degree in Art. Susan is now enjoying extremely enriching experiences with volunteer and local governmental opportunities.



Pacita Abad (1946-2004) was born in Basco, Batanes, a small island in the northernmost part of the Philippines between Luzon and Taiwan. In 1976, Abad enrolled at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., and in 1977 she held her first solo exhibit in her 15th Street studio. At the Corcoran, Pacita studied under Berthold Schmutzhart and Blaine Larson, two professors who helped launch her more than 30-year artistic career. After continuing and completing her art education at The Art Students League in New York City, Abad went on to live and paint as a globetrotter in countries as varied as Yemen, Singapore, Sudan, Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Cambodia, and Indonesia. She exhibited her work internationally in museums, galleries and other venues, holding over 60 solo shows. Abad's work is now in public, corporate and private art collections in over 70 countries.


Cynthia Connolly (b. 1964) is an American photographer, curator, graphic designer, and artist. She graduated from Corcoran College of Art and Design with a BFA in Graphic Design in 1985 and went on to work for Dischord Records and d.c. space. In 1988 she published Banned in DC: Photos and Anecdotes From the DC Punk Underground (79–85) through her small press Sun Dog Propaganda. The book documented the early hardcore punk scene in Washington, D.C., which included such bands as Bad Brains and Minor Threat. Connolly continues to create and curate work in Arlington County, Virginia.


Susan Davis, Art History MA ’79, founded and is board president of Desert X, an international, site-specific, contemporary art biennial in Palm Springs, CA, which took place in 2017 and garnered international attention and 200,000 visitors. Desert X 2019 dates are 2/9-4/21.


Debra Ann DeVoe, Dance Education, MA '82, recently published her first book entitled Ballet Buster’s Leap into the First Nutcracker. The chapter book travels back 100 years as a dance teacher takes her four ballet students to the very first Nutcracker performance.


Suzanne Finney, Fine Arts BFA ‘88, resides in DC and works as a curator. Her exhibits are with National and International artists.


Tim Gunn (b. 1953) is an American fashion consultant, television personality, actor, voice actor and author. He earned a B.F.A. in sculpture at the Corcoran School of the Art and Design in 1974. After serving as director of admissions for the Corcoran, Gunn began working at New York's Parsons The New School for Design in 1982, and served as chair of the department of fashion design for 24 years. During the school's summer hiatus, Gunn was involved in the hit TV show Project Runway where he served as a den father and mentor to the contestants. Gunn lives in New York City. Gunn currently works at Fifth & Pacific (formerly Liz Claiborne Inc.), where for several years he has been responsible for attracting, retaining and developing the creative talent within the company's portfolio of brands.


Andi Harris, Visual Communications, Certificate ’78, is creative director at Spectrum Creative, a design, advertising, and publishing company in Fairfax, Virginia. In 2016, Andi received a GDUSA award for art direction and design of the book,  Engineering the Nation's Capital.


Linda Harris, Art History BA ’74, currently blogs about travel news and destinations, particularly in Italy. Due to her major in Art History, she seeks new archaeological discoveries and interesting art exhibitions to publicize via her Instagram account: the_vicarious _voyager!


Robert Hite (b. 1956) is an American visual artist. Hite attended Virginia Commonwealth University and the Corcoran College of Art. He worked as a studio assistant to Washington Color School painter Leon Berkowitz and enjoyed success as an abstract landscape artist during the 1980s and 1990s. Hite’s work, blending painting, sculpture, and photography, concentrates on narrative forms. His work is grounded in the rural landscape and iconography of his childhood in Virginia. Since 2006, his work has increasingly focused on mixed-media projects, culminating in his series Imagined Histories. In this series Hite created model houses that he then situated in natural settings and photographed. Imagined Histories earned Hite a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014.


Meredith (Van Kirk) Janssen, Fine Arts BFA ’71, has been displaying and selling her artwork in Hickory, NC and surrounding area for 11 years. She had a one person show at the Rock School in Valdese, NC last October and is a 5 year Signature Member of the Watercolor Society of North Carolina.


Judy (Rottenberg) Jordan, Fine Arts MFA ’73, had her art work featured as a pop-up exhibit on the Maryland Public Television program Artworks on Jan. 5, 2018.


Mark Kates, BA ’82, is a music manager historically synonymous with alternative music. He spent 10+ years at Geffen/DGC Records including A&R for Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Hole, White Zombie, Elastica, XTC, Jawbreaker and countless others. He ran Beastie Boys’ Grand Royal Records and worked at Big Time and Ace of Hearts. Fenway’s client roster includes MGMT, The Cribs, Mission of Burma, Doves, Josh Klinghoffer/Pluralone, and Curious Creatures. As DJ Carbo, Kates curates The Fenway Recordings Sessions, a concert series running in Boston since 2004. He co-founded The Shout Syndicate Fund for after school arts at the request of former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.


Brian Kirk, Fine Arts BA ’76, is exhibiting his bold rust prints at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Art Gallery in Sterling, VA from March 2nd to May 21st.


Kim Kirkpatrick (b. 1952) is a landscape photographer who lives and works in the greater Washington, D.C. area. Kirkpatrick earned a B.F.A. from the Corcoran College of Art and Design and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Maryland. In 1993, the Aaron Siskind Foundation awarded Kirkpatrick an Individual Photographer’s Fellowship Grant. Kirkpatrick taught photography as an adjunct member of the faculty at the Corcoran College of Art and Design and at the Smithsonian Residents Associate Program. He has exhibited his photography widely in galleries and museums.


Jared Leto

Jared Leto (b. 1971) is an accomplished actor (Suicide SquadRequiem for a Dream) and frontman of the American band Thirty Seconds to Mars. On his IMDb page, Leto is quoted as saying,  “... I went to the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C... I was studying figurative painting and I wanted to be a fine artist. That was really what I thought I would do with my life. And then I was taking a photography class, a sculpting class, and of course a pottery class which is a must. I recommend highly, it's always a fun class. But then I took and film class and that was it. I was obsessed.”


Linda Lowery, Fine Arts MFA ’70, maintains a studio in Alexandria, Virginia. Her works in oil and encaustic have been shown throughout the Washington metropolitan area.


Ernest Lupinacci, Visual Communications BFA ’89, is publishing his first graphic novel – The Godfather Gang. Boasting the tagline "In Hollywood, Everything Is Personal" - the book tells the true, chaotic backstory of how the movie The Godfather came to be.


Jody Mussoff (b. 1952) is an American artist and ceramist best known for her colorful figural drawings. She attended the Corcoran School of Art from 1974-76. Her work has been collected by many major museums and galleries, including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.


Daniel H. Weiss (b. 1957) is the current chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. He holds a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in Western Medieval and Byzantine Art and an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management. He earned his B.A. in Art History and Psychology from the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences in 1979. Prior to his position with the Met, Weiss served as the president of both Lafayette and Haverford University.


Firooz Zahedi (b. 1949) is an Iranian-American photographer. Born in Iran, Zahedi moved to the United States in 1969 to study in Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. He worked briefly as an attaché in the Iranian Embassy before resigning to attend the Corcoran School of Art. While at the Corcoran, he began photographing for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine and served as its Washington DC correspondent. His editorial work has appeared internationally in such magazines such as Vanity FairEntertainment WeeklyTown and CountryTimeGlamourThe New YorkerNew York magazineTatlerBritish GQVogue ParisEsquirePremiere, and many others. He has photographed many celebrities (and was famously Elizabeth Taylor’s personal photographer in the late 1970s), and his fine art photography has been exhibited widely and collected by notable institutions like LACMA.



Mashael Alajmi, Graphic Design MFA ’08, is currently based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Mashael is a graphic design lecturer and program coordinator at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University. She also designs exhibitions locally.


James Beaman, Classical Acting MFA ’04, is doing the 2018 rep season at Orlando Shakes. Their "Twelfth Night" is the first ever professional American Shakespeare production done with an all male cast in Elizabethan stage practices and in original pronunciation.


Vian (Shamounki) Borchert, Fine Arts BFA ’96, currently has a solo exhibit titled "ABSTRACT IMAGINATIONS" on display till 3/31 at The Framer's Choice Gallery in Kentlands, Gaithersburg, MD.


Zach Borichevsky is an opera singer and an exciting new vocal talent on the international stage. While a political science and music major at Columbian College, Borichevsky envisioned a future career on Capitol Hill, but realized that his true passion lay in music and theater. He graduated with a BA in Music in 2006. Throughout his time at GW, Borichevsky performed in Music Department recitals, Chamber Choir concerts, and gigs with the emo-a cappella group Emocapella. He continued his artistic education at the Yale School of Music and the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, but Borichevsky cites his experiences at GW—and in particular the mentorship of Robert Baker and Associate Professor of Music Douglas Boyce—as laying the groundwork for his current success and career. In 2016, Borichevsky made his Metropolitan Opera debut in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut.


Dana Tai Soon Burgess (b. 1968) earned an MFA in Dance from the George Washington University in 1994, and is a leading American choreographer, dancer, performance artist, and cultural figure. In May 2016, Burgess was named the Smithsonian's first-ever choreographer in residence at the National Portrait Gallery. Burgess is currently a professor of dance in Corcoran’s Theatre & Dance program.


Maggie Contreras (b. 1983) is an actress, producer, and content developer. Maggie graduated from the Corcoran theatre program in 2006, after which she trained in the Boston University graduate acting program. She began her L.A. career in January of 2007 and is now a member of the Screen Actors Guild. She has acted in recurring roles on TV series such as Greek and has starred in Law and Order: LA and Criminal Minds. Maggie also works as a writer and producer. Her latest project as a producer was on the 2017 documentary Gilbert, which has received praise from the likes of Judd Apatow and Rolling Stone. Contreras is currently developing a slate of narrative and unscripted projects for film, digital, and TV.


Tara Donovan (b. 1969) creates sculptures, drawings, prints, and large-scale installations that transform the banality of everyday objects into the extraordinary. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in 1991, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Donovan’s many accolades include the prestigious MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award (2008) and the first annual Calder Prize (2005), among others.


Amy Farina is a drummer and singer living in Washington, D.C. She began getting involved in D.C.’s punk scene while she was a student at the Corcoran, playing in bands such as The Warmers and Lois. In 2001 she founded the band The Evens with her now-husband Ian Mackaye, another central figure in the D.C. punk community. Farina and Mackaye continue to perform as The Evens and have a son together. In a 2017 interview with the podcast The Trap Set, Farina shared that in her mid-thirties she began to wish she had attended music school, so she returned to GW to receive supplementary instruction with the music department’s percussion program, an experience she valued greatly.


Nicole Geraci, Fine Arts BFA ’93, has worked in painting and frame conservation in New Orleans Louisiana since 1994. Nicole continues to paint, draw and do assemblage as well.


Duff Goldman (b.1974) is a pastry chef and television personality. He is the executive chef of the Baltimore-based Charm City Cakes shop, which was featured in the Food Network reality television show Ace of Cakes. Duff also founded the Los Angeles-based shop Charm City Cakes West, which is featured in Food Network's Duff Till Dawn and Cake Masters series. His work has been featured on Food Network ChallengeIron Chef AmericaOprah, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He attended the  Corcoran College of Art shortly after graduating from undergrad at the University of Maryland. He continued on to study at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley, California. After working under acclaimed chefs in California, Goldman returned to Washington, D.C. to bake bread at Todd English's Olives Restaurant under executive chef Steve Mannino. In 2000, Goldman opened Charm City Cakes in Baltimore.


Avi Gupta, BFA in Photography ‘04, works as Director of Photography for U.S. News & World Report where he has over 15 years of experience, and as a Professorial Lecturer in Photojournalism at the Corcoran. As an exhibiting artist, his work has been showcased in solo shows at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Orlando Museum of Art, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art and the Nottingham Castle Museum. Alongside private collections, his work is held in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian’s Asia Pacific Center in Washington, DC.


Nancy Cohen Israel, Art History and Fine Arts MA ’91, is a freelance writer, lecturer and curator in Dallas, Texas. She is a regular contributor to Patron magazine and a lecturer at the Meadows Museum. 


Bruce Jurgens (b. 1965) is a visual effects supervisor and the CEO of the entertainment company Legion Entertainment LLC. His company has completed work on Battle: Los Angeles and Monster House at Sony Pictures in Los Angeles. Jurgens also contributed work to the 2000 film X-Men. Jurgens attended American University, Georgetown University, and earned a M.F.A. in digital art at Corcoran College of Art and Design (1992-1994).


Cody Lindquist, Theatre BA ’02, is the voice of Melania Trump in the new Showtime series Our Cartoon President produced by Stephen Colbert.


Colette Loll, Decorative Arts and Design History MA ‘09, recently began a Doctor of Liberal Studies program at Georgetown University. Her research will focus on Cultural Diplomacy and international efforts to protect cultural heritage at risk.


Kiki McGrath, Museum Studies MA ’97, is curator of the Dadian Gallery in the Art and Religion program at Wesley Theological Seminary. Her recent paintings are on view at Studio Gallery, DC.


Sarah Mezzino, Decorative Arts and Design History MA ‘09, recently finished a seven-year renovation of The Lawrenceville School's senior dining hall in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. The hall is attached to one of the School's National Landmark buildings by Peabody & Stearns. As the School's curator of decorative arts and design, Sarah's team made the architecture and interior furnishings reflect the work of these famous architects.


Peggy Newman, Decorative Arts and Design History MA ‘09, is a part of the Smithsonian Women's Committee and co-chair for the Smithsonian Craft 2 Wear Show, which will be held from October 4-6, 2018 at the National Building Museum.


Charles Privitera, Fine Arts BFA ’97, is now working for Customs and Border Protection in the field of international trade. Charles still enjoys using his drawing and graphic design abilities whenever he can.


Jennifer Stone, Fine Arts BFA ’06, had her first taste of showing internationally recently with a show in Buenos Aires, Argentina and has been sending paintings all over the US for shows. She is working toward her next goal of showing at the Venice Biennale


Ian F Svenonius (b. 1968) is an icon of the D.C. punk scene. He is an underground rock star (Nation of Ulysses, The Make-Up, Weird War, XYZ, Escape-ism, and Chain and The Gang) and author of books such as “The Psychic Soviet” and “Censorship Now!!” The Washington Post has described him as the “most interesting man in rock-and-roll.” Svenonius was a student of fine arts at the Corcoran in the late 1980s/early 1990s, where he primarily drew comics “about revolution.”


Nell Taylor-Christy, Art History and Fine Arts MA ’03, is currently living in Washington, DC and enjoying art history related travel most recently to Italy and France.


Mary Vento, Fine Arts BFA ’91, moved to Leander, TX after 37 years in Bethesda, MD. Recently Mary enjoyed the opening of Rothko's "Austin" and just returned from Marfa, TX, the town/foundations Donald Judd put on the map.


Sarah (Benditt) Vreeland, Art History and Fine Arts BA ’07, started Katilu, a trend-driven homeware company in 2017 after working in product development for almost a decade. Katilu works with retailers to develop their own line of homewares, and will be debuting its own line of melamine dinnerware in June. 


Kerry Washington (b. 1977) is an American actress. She pursued performance studies at GW’s Theatre & Dance program, and graduated with a major in special interdisciplinary studies, Phi Beta Kappa, in 1998. Since 2012, Washington has gained wide public recognition for starring in the ABC drama Scandal. For her role, she has been nominated twice for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series. Washington is also a supporter of LGBT rights, women’s rights and is a member of the Creative Coalition, which is a board of actors, writers, musicians, and producers that explore issues that are at the forefront of national discourse. In April 2014, Time magazine included Washington in its annual Time 100 list. Washington received an honorary doctorate from GW in 2013.


Romy Willing, Fine Art Photography and Photography BFA ’97, has recently been appointed as executive director of CoCA, Toi Moroki Centre of Contemporary Art in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Kathryn Zaremba (b. 1982) is an American writer, illustrator, surface designer, business woman, and former actress and singer. She is known for her roles as Annie Warbucks in the 1993 musical Annie Warbucks and Lisa Leeper on Full House. She is an alumna of Kansas City Art Institute, and was assistant to Jonathan Adler in NYC before attending graduate school at The Corcoran College of Art for exhibition design. She married Jeremy Ney in 2011 and they live in Washington, D.C where she runs her business the Kate Zaremba Company. She also co-runs The Lemon Collective, a local workshop space for D.C. creatives.



Jenn Beach, Decorative Arts and Design History MA ‘13, has been accepted at the 2018 West Regional Association for Experiential Education conference this past February and will be speaking at Maker Faire Bay Area in May & the reMAKE Education Conference in Sonoma County, California in August about how we can integrate making into cross-curricular projects in fields including science, history & social studies, math, and English/Language Arts that meet standards requirements in K-12 schools.


Tyree Brown, Fine Arts AFA ’18, has now received her Associates Degree after facing a life changing injury. She continues to draw and make art for individuals and herself despite being bound to a wheelchair.


Alexandra (Parker) Campbell, Decorative Arts and Design History MA ‘14, took on a new position as Executive Director of the Reston Historic Trust & Museum in January 2018.


Sarah Carey, Interior Architecture MFA ’17, was recently featured in Bethesda Magazine for her work in interior architecture and design.


Natale Clark, Exhibition Design MA ’14, recently moved to Durham, NC after a few years working for Social Tables in DC, and is now working for the Cradle to Cradle Institute, launching a new program to advance better chemistry in the course of product design and manufacturing.


Scott Clowney, Exhibition Design MA ’11, is currently exhibitions manager at the District Architecture Center. Scott launched his first book, Historic Buildings of Washington, D.C.: A Coloring Book of Architecture, in 2017.


Sam Corum, Photojournalism B.F.A. ’12, was awarded a 2022 Pulitzer in the Breaking News category for his work with a team of photographers covering the Jan. 6 insurrection for Getty Images. Read his story.


Nicole (Gray) D'Orazio, Exhibition Design BFA ’07, MA ’12, is approaching her 5th anniversary as an exhibit designer with the Missouri History Museum in St Louis. In that time, she has opened nearly 15 exhibits, with her latest one set to open in June.

John Edmonds (b. 1989) is an American artist and photographer who first came to public recognition with his intimate portraits of lovers, close friends and strangers. He earned his MFA in Photography from Yale University and his BFA at the Corcoran School of Arts & Design. His work explores themes of identity, community and desire. Noted for his highly formalist photographs in which he focuses on the performative gestures and self-fashioning of young black men on the streets of America, his work is in numerous public and private collections, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Columbus Museum of Art, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, SFMoMA, and the Brooklyn Museum. In 2018, TIME Magazine listed his debut monograph, Higher, as one of the top 25 Photobooks of the year. Recent exhibitions include Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall at the Brooklyn Museum, Studio Photography at Simon Lee Gallery, God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin at David Zwirner and Family Pictures at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Residencies include: the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME; Light Work, Syracuse, NY; and the Banff Centre, Banff, AB. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York and is on faculty at Yale University and the School of Visual Arts, NY. In 2019, he was included in the 79th Whitney Biennial.


Beatrice Fischel-Bock, Interior Architecture and Design and Fine Arts BFA '13, is the CEO and co-founder of Hutch, an online platform and mobile app that mixes 3D technology with online shopping to help users design their space. Her work was featured in Forbes in April, 2018.


Amber Glen, Museum Collections Management and Care Grad Certificate ’16, began working in the micrographics department at the Alaska State Archives in Juneau, AK in August 2017.


Bryan Hilley, Art History MA ’15, currently works as a registration assistant with the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.


Evan Hume, one of our Photography MFA graduates, 2011, was recently hired as a Visiting Lecturer and Photography Facilities Coordinator at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, IN.


Brittany Watson Jepsen, Interior Design MFA ’10, is the creator of the craft and design website The House That Lars Built. What initially began as a blog project for one of her residential interior design classes in 2008 has now become a full-time business with 5 employees. The House that Lars Built was named a finalist in 2017 for the Shorty Awards, and has been featured in a number of places such as The NY TimesThe Today ShowCNNLe MondeMartha StewartVogue, etc. Jepsen's newest book, Craft the Rainbow, has already been featured in Country LivingMartha Stewart, and more.


Amy Krupsky, Decorative Arts and Design History MA ‘12, is a docent at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery.


Mary LaRoche, Exhibition Design MFA ’13, is working as the exhibit designer for Mid-America Arts Alliance in Kansas City. In collaboration with the NEH on the Road and ExhibitsUSA programs, Mary has been able to design a multitude of exhibits reaching all 50 US States. She is living the dream.


Megan (Pirron) Lillie, Exhibition Design MA ’16, is currently working at the YMCA of Greater NY in their Community Art Department. 


Kesi Marcus, Fine Art Photography and Photography BFA ’13, has been working at AARP for almost two years as a photo editor and enjoys the work she does for a non-profit organization in the heart of Washington, DC. Kesi has also created her first-ever photography website in the year of 2018.

Grace G. McNicholas, Decorative Arts and Design History MA ‘15, is working as the Middle School Visual Art teacher at Connelly School of the Holy Child in Potomac, Maryland.


Arel Lisette Peckler, Fine Arts BFA ’17, was accepted into the 2018-2019 class at the Tamarind Institute for Fine Art Lithography, and will be attending this coming fall. In February, Arel Lisette was awarded a Merit Grant to attend a residency at the Vermont Studio Center.


Margaret Powell graduated with an M.A. in Decorative Arts & Design History in 2012 (at that time, it was called History of Decorative Arts). Sadly, she passed away in 2019 and the program created a scholarship in her name. Powell's work is considered a major contribution to African-American fashion history and scholarship. The topic of her master's thesis in the program was the fashion designer Ann Lowe. Powell was working on a full-scale biography when she died of cancer, at forty-three. You can read about Powell's work in the New Yorker article, Ann Lowe’s Barrier-Breaking Mid-Century Couture.


Stephen Ramos, Interior Architecture MFA ’10, belonged to a team of designers in charge of renovating the International Interior Design Association Headquarters in Chicago. His work was featured in Interior Design in August, 2017.


Alexandra Ruggiero, Decorative Arts and Design History MA ‘12, as Assistant Curator of Modern Glass at The Corning Museum of Glass, curated the upcoming special exhibition “Glass of the Architects: Vienna, 1900-1937,” which will open on June 23.


Meghan Scott, Interior Architecture MFA '15 and Senior Designer at //3877, was nominated by Boutique Design magazine as an Up-and-Coming Designer for "exuding creativity and on-the-job savvy".


Teresa Teixeira, Decorative Arts and Design History MA ‘17, will soon assume the role of Curator of Historic Textiles at The Charleston Museum in Charleston, South Carolina.


Cassandra “Cassie” Vadas, Museum Studies MA ’16, recently joined the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures registrar team as the collections information coordinator. She is working to establish the museum's database and prepare the collection for the museum's opening in Los Angeles in mid-late 2019.


Ariel Wilchek, Exhibition Design MA ’12, recently relocated from Los Angeles to San Francisco to take on a new creative director position at On Board Experiential.


Tiffany Williams, Decorative Arts and Design History MA ‘13, co-curated a featured exhibition on display in early 2018 at Workhouse Arts Center “Compounds Not Required: 29 47 13,” which examines the work of six artists utilizing metals in their process highlighting the allure, complexities and innovations of the craft.

Amber Wingerson, Decorative Arts and Design History MA ‘17, has recently published her first article "Illuminating Etiquette: Interior Illumination at the Turn of the Twentieth Century" in Nineteenth Century Magazine, published by the Victorian Society of America in its thirty-eighth volume in spring 2018.


Jessica Willumson, Museum Studies MA ’11, joined the Registrar's Office at the Getty Research Institute as a Metadata Specialist this last summer. She recently got engaged to Will Smith (not the actor) and is looking forward to wedding planning.


Corcoran alumni Nick Kirkpatrick, B.F.A. ’10, Whitney Leaming, M.A ’13,  Joy Sharon Yi, M.A. ’17, Craig Hudson, B.F.A. ’16, and Zoeann Murphy, M.A. ’14 filled many roles on the 2022 Pulitzer-Winning Washington Post team that covered the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Read their stories.