Transformer: A Note from Our Director

A dancer dressed in white spins in front of a wall covered in visual art.
Image courtesy of Transformer 2017.
November 15, 2018

This year, the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design will host the Annual Transformer Silent Auction & Benefit Party, an event that showcases some of D.C.’s best contemporary visual art (including more than a few from Corcoran alumni). This “not to be missed” art event provides essential support for Transformer's comprehensive year-round exhibitions and educational programming. After several years at other D.C. venues, the auction is back in the Corcoran Flagg Building. Below is a statement from the Corcoran's director, Sanjit Sethi, concerning the Transformer event this Saturday, November 17 at 8 p.m. in the Atrium Galleries of the Corcoran Flagg Building.


The Corcoran and Transformer are family. Over the years our communities have intertwined in a relationship that has been about supporting the next generation of artists and cultural leaders. Our institutions have decided to commit ourselves to provide mentorship, connections, pedagogy, opportunities, and other more intangible forms of support because we know creating and making takes a supportive, dedicated community.


The work that is part of this special Anniversary Auction, that speaks to this wonderfully interlaced collaboration between Transformer and the Corcoran, offers insight into a world of diverse perspectives and disparate systems, which are in fact intricately connected. Artists that have been a part of this remarkable connection have expressed powerful visual and conceptual parallels that go well beyond the traditional binaries of theoretical versus formal, design versus fine art, socially engaged versus white-cube centric. Understanding, embracing and supporting artists engaged in this type of complexity has never been more important.


I am reminded of a Zulu phrase, "Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu" which means a person is a person because of people, and I can't help but think that this is so relevant for two institutions that continue to work together to shape the future of culture through the work of our creative communities.


On behalf of the entire Corcoran School of the Arts and Design community, we are so pleased to be once again collaborating with Transformer, and to have their dynamic Auction exhibition and event back in the newly renovated Flagg Building, to celebrate making, the pushing of boundaries and the reframing of what culture truly is and can be.  We look forward to the ongoing collaboration between our two organizations for years to come.


Sanjit Sethi
Director, Corcoran School of the Arts and Design

The George Washington University