Our supportive community offers tools and ecosystems helping students engage historical and contemporary criteria for making art. Innovative faculty help students refine approaches to being collaborators, thought-leaders, educators—and artists. Students have access to the DC area's internationally renowned museums and galleries, in addition to Katzen Arts Center and campus facilities. Flexible degree programs offer courses in sculpture, painting, video, photography, drawing, printmaking, expanded media, and special topics:
BA Studio Art MFA Studio Art BA Photography
DC Museums & Galleries
Beyond AU's Katzen Arts Center and other campus Arts Facilities, Washington, DC, offers an unsurpassed level of world class museums, most of which offer free admission and are within a 20 minute metrorail ride from our studio facilities. From the Phillips Collection (which was America's first museum of Modern Art and the place where American University's Art programs emerged more than a century ago) to the East and West buildings of National Gallery of Art; From the Hirshhorn and the National Museum of African Art to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, these amazing institutions act as a vital component of our students' experience in Washington, DC. The American University Museum at the Katzen Center has become one of the leading museums of contemporary art in the region. Additionally there are many thriving spaces and fellowship opportunities for emerging artists.
- National Gallery of Art
- National Portrait Gallery
- Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden
- National Museum of the American Indian
- National Museum of African Art
- National Museum of African American History and Culture
- Freer & Sackler National Museums of Asian Art
- National Museum of Women in the Arts
- Phillips Collection
- Textile Museum
- Archives of American Art
- Renwick Gallery
- Art Museum of the Americas
- Kreeger Museum
- Glenstone Museum
- Washington Project for the Arts
Kyle Hackett (b. Still Pond, MD) earned his MFA from the LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting at Maryland Institute College of Art and his BFA in Fine Arts as a McNair Scholar from the University of Delaware. His paintings explore issues of race, class, and social standing through approaches to self-representation and the constructed image.
Hackett has received numerous honors and awards, including the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowship and Grant, the Civil Society Institute Fellowship at Vermont Studio Center Residency, The Ruth Katzman Scholarship at The League Residency in New York, Best in Show at the 2014 Bethesda Painting Awards Exhibition. He was a semifinalist in the 2016 and 2019 BP Portrait Award (London), honorable mention in the 2019 Art Olympia International Open Art Competition (Tokyo), and a finalist in the 2020 Prisma Art Prize (Rome) and the Alexander Rutsch Award for Painting in 2021, and selected for the ArtFields Competition in 2022 and 2023.
Hackett's work has been featured in publications such as New American Paintings, the Washington Post, Aesthetica Magazine (UK) and distinguished as "Ten Memorable Paintings of 2014" in the Huffington Post. Hackett received A Mayoral Salute from the City of Baltimore for his solo exhibition and artist talk "Rate of Contingency" at Baltimore City Hall. His work is represented by Goya Contemporary Gallery (Baltimore, MD) and notably collected by Ethan Cohen Gallery (New York), Wangechi Mutu Studio, University Museums at the University of Delaware, University of Maryland, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Capital One Lounge permanent collection at the Dulles International Airport, the Trawick Foundation and more. Recent exhibitions include The Prisma Art Prize in Rome, Italy, and Return to Self & The Constructed Image, a solo exhibition in Staunton, VA.
Hackett returns to American University, having previously held teaching positions at James Madison University, American University, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), St. Mary's College of Maryland, and Montgomery College.
Kyle Hackett, After Builder Series #5, 2020. Oil on aluminum, 20 x 16 in.
The Studio Art MFA program at American University presents visiting artists throughout the academic year.