Katzen Exhibitions

Shows on view in the Katzen Rotunda, Kreeger Lobby, and more spaces throughout the year.

About Katzen Exhibitions

Exhibitions on view in the Katzen Arts Center rotate throughout the academic year, in the Rotunda, Kreeger Lobby, and other parts of the building. Recent exhibitions include student artwork from American University's Studio Art program, works by local artists, and external rentals. Exhibitions on view in the Katzen Arts Center differ from the exhibitions hosted in the American University Museum.

Learn more about visiting the Katzen Arts Center.

FINALE Senior Capstone: Photography and New Media and Studio Art Majors

April 17-May 1
Reception: April 26, 5-7 p.m.
Katzen Arts Center Rotunda

The capstone exhibition, FINALE, represents the culmination of intensive research and creative exploration by students from two sections of the Studio Art Capstone class. Showcasing a diverse array of backgrounds, practices, and themes, this exhibition serves as a testament to the transformative journey each student has undertaken. Through their dedicated efforts, they have not only synthesized their learning from this education but also forged a new language of expression, one that reflects their unique ideas, imagination, and craftsmanship. FINALE invites viewers to embark on a journey of discovery, where each artwork offers a glimpse into the rich tapestry of perspectives and experiences cultivated within our Studio Art program at AU.

Abstract interior sceneHolding Hands, Holding Space
January 26–March 2, 2024
Katzen Rotunda
Curated by Taylor Sizemore and Marie B Gauthiez

American University’s Studio Art MFA program presents Holding Hands, Holding Space, a group exhibition curated by Taylor Sizemore and Marie B Gauthiez in the Katzen Arts Center Rotunda. This exhibition brings together sixteen artists; eight students from AU’s Studio Art MFA Program and eight students from other local university MFA programs, including the University of Maryland, Maryland Institute College of Art, and George Washington University.

Artists participating are: Phaedra Askarinam, Sanah Brown-bowers, Pooja Campbell, Maren Casana, Connor Gagne, Marie B Gauthiez, Trisha Gupta, Jeffrey Warren Hampshire, Lindsay Mueller, Patricia Edwine-Poku, Julia Reising, Taylor Sizemore, Jill McCarthy Stauffer, Jeehee Yoo, Margaret Connon Walker, and Julia Zhang.

Through this joint exhibition, the curators aim to generate artistic dialogue and foster long-term, fruitful relationships between artists and across programs. The exhibition sheds light on the necessity for emerging artists to create more opportunities for one another, to acknowledge interconnectedness and to nurture curiosity towards one other’s practices.

Artists worked in pairs, engaging in conversations through in-person and virtual meetings ahead of the exhibition. Artists may share similar ideas, approaches, media, techniques, sensibilities, and aesthetics.


Blue geometric artworkInfinite Geometries: Exploring the Arts of the Medieval Islamic World
Dr. Joanne Allen January 27–March 1, 2024
Katzen Rotunda

This exhibition comprises drawings, oil and watercolor paintings, intaglio and relief prints, and fabrics based on the art history of the medieval Islamic world, in particular the Great Mosque of Córdoba, the most complex, decorative, and awe-inspiring building in early medieval Western Europe. This mosque’s forest of never-ending columns, horseshoe arches, and graphic alternating color scheme manifested the intellectual and mathematical achievements of the Islamic Golden Age of Spain, creating a peaceful and sacred space that belies its tortured social history. 

In a broader context, the Islamic art tradition fostered the development of complex biomorphic and geometric patterns based on mathematical perfection and infinite expansion. Interlacing linear borders, radiating stars, and spiraling organic forms created mesmerizing designs that inspired reverence and meditation. This exhibition will showcase the diversity of artistic approaches across medieval localities, touching on the widespread phenomenon of intercultural exchange across faith traditions.

Read our interview with Professor Allen: Artist and Art Historian: Professor Joanne Allen’s Solo Exhibition Opens

Myrtle Katzen

Group 93Ekphrasis: Art & Poetry September 18–October 16, 2023
Katzen Rotunda

Ekphrasis in ancient Greece was the skill of describing a thing with vivid detail. Today, ekphrasis is a genre of poetry written in response to an artwork. 

Highlighting the exchange of thoughts and emotions shared through the practice of art, this exhibition pairs ekphrastic poems written in response to selected pieces in the show. The goal of these pairings is to open the door to deeper exploration of the work.

Viewers will be invited to leave their own responses in the exhibition log. 

Group 93 is pleased to collaborate with 15 distinguished writers including three who have served as poet laureates, Ted Kooser (US Library of Congress, 2004-2006), Grace Cavilieri (State of Maryland, 2018-2023), and Anne Becker (City of Takoma Park, 2007-2011).

Poets: Anne Becker, Barbara Berman, Grace Cavalieri, Kyle Dargan, Nicole Fall, Elise Fischer, Craig E Flaherty, Doug Hillmer, Frank S Joseph, Ted Kooser, Luciano Menetto, Seema Reza, Erich Schrader, Mike Wenthe, and Jacqueline R Werner. 

Artists: Joan Lewis Birnbaum, Lucy J Blankstein, Dorothy Fall, Michael Graham, Marjorie Hirano, Carol A Jason, Myrtle Katzen, Karen Kunc, Marc Pekala, Luciano Penay, Patricia Segnan, Romeo Segnan, Claudia Vess, Gail Watkins, and Ann Zahn.

Group 93 was formed in 1990 to explore the rigor of a critique method developed by artist and AU Professor Emeritus Luciano Penay. The artists have diverse professional backgrounds and approaches to visual language. 

Image: Myrtle Katzen, After Noon. 3 x 4 ft. © Myrtle Katzen.

The Invisible Visible Transformer

The Invincible Visible

Exhibition and Benefit Auction
Katzen Arts Center
November 4–17, 2023
Gala Night: November 18

The Invincible Visible will feature 150+ artworks in a variety of mediums by DC, national, and international emerging & more established artists, presented in person at American University’s Katzen Arts Center and via an Online Auction. With this exhibition, Transformer is bringing visibility to new generations of emerging artists, and highlighting the invincible spirit of innovative contemporary art. Both The Invincible Visible exhibition and accompanying online Auction will culminate with a Benefit Gala reception on November 18, 2023.

Transformer is very honored to be partnering with the Embassy of Argentina in presenting this year’s Annual Auction Exhibition & Benefit Gala, and to have Ambassador Jorge Martín Arturo Argüello as our Diplomatic Chair. A special selection of Argentinian artists’ works will be featured.


Undergraduate Digital Photography ExhibitonStudio Art ProgramA collage of photographsDecember 4-12, 2023 in the Kreeger Lobby

  • Witness the artistic journey of emerging photographers in Professor Naoco Chun's digital photography class. Explore a captivating exhibition showcasing their mastery of various methods and expression techniques, culminating in a diverse collection of unique and compelling photo works.

  • Featuring: Ryan Barna, Reuben Breitman, Laurel Crawford, Nicolle Duenas, Shane Gardner, Sophia La Ferla, Lucas Matos, Anna Michael, Olivia Moore, Kiki Nartey, Polina Shagin, Luke Taylor, Nikolai Tochilin, Emilio Wanis, and Munya Yusuf.