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Facilities & Resources

Katzen Arts Center at night.

Katzen Arts Center

The Katzen Arts Center brings all the visual and performing arts programs at AU into one 130,000 square foot space. Designed to foster interdisciplinary collaboration in the arts, the new center provides state-of-the-art instructional, exhibition, and performance space for all the arts disciplines. The Center features an extraordinary 30,000 square foot art museum with a variety of gallery spaces for exhibition of exciting contemporary art from the nation's capital region and the world, along with AU's own Watkins Collection and the collection of Cyrus and Myrtle Katzen. The Katzen Arts Center stands as a clear statement to the community that at the heart of the city, there exists a place where the arts are honored as the heart of higher education. That place is American University.

AU Museum

The American University Museum is a three-story public museum and sculpture garden located within the university's dynamic and multidisciplinary Katzen Arts Center. The region's largest university facility for exhibiting art, the museum has a permanent collection that highlights AU's Watkins Collection and The Rothfeld Collection of Contemporary Israeli Art, in addition to our Alper Initiative for Washington Art.

Rotating exhibitions emphasize regional, national, and international contemporary art. The museum's collections enable us to present the art history of Washington, while our Kunsthalle style ensures constantly changing, highly relevant and provocative programming.

Studio Art

  • Sculpture suite: a sculpture suite that contains a large flexible classroom/assembly room for the instruction of sculpture and installation; a plaster/sink casting room; and a full service woodshop with all new professional equipment, hand tools, and state of the art CNC router
  • State of the art multimedia studio for video and digital photography: a designated state of the art multimedia studio lab and classroom equipped with large format digital printers, large format SLR and video equipment, current Apple computers and hardware and Adobe image, video, and audio editing software
  • Four studios for painting and drawing: 3 flexible classroom spaces for the instruction of acrylic based painting and drawing and one flexible classroom space for the instruction of advanced oil and acrylic based painting and drawing
  • Printmaking studio: A printmaking studio with individualized workstation ventilation, acid and solvent area with separate controlled ventilation and a designated safety room
  • Screenprinting studio: a dedicated silkscreen studio and classroom
  • Undergraduate capstone studio space
  • Individual graduate studios with designated storage areas for graduate student work and designated graduate critique room
  • Rotunda student art gallery: The Katzen rotunda features a rotating showcase of student work across disciplines from all levels of art classes. The studio art program has an agreement in place that makes installation projects possible within all public Katzen areas.

Visual Resources Center

The Visual Resources Center (VRC) is a hub for image research and production, study and collaboration, print resources on the arts and graphic design, and audio/video equipment circulation for all programs of the Art Department. The VRC image collection, available through Artstor, supports faculty teaching needs in the areas of art, architecture, and graphic design. Of particular strength is a focus on women artists from the Renaissance to today.

Graphic Design

The graphic design program has three designated classrooms/labs. When no class is scheduled, two of these classrooms serve as the seniors-only lab and the open lab for all graphic design students, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. All classrooms/labs contain:

  • Macintosh computers with the latest industry-standard software, including Adobe products
  • Large-format color printers (printing free of cost for students in design courses)
  • Tabloid-size flatbed scanners
  • Light boxfor tracing
  • Work table with cutting mats, straightedges, and T-squares

Students may also borrow Wacom digital pens and tablets and DSLR photo equipment from the Visual Resources Center

Across Campus

Game Lab

  • The spacious reception area features an 8' diagonal, 4K touch screen monitor that allows visitors to play several of the Game Lab's productions (Factitious, Hurl the Harasser, and Function Force). The configurable space can serve as a welcome/sign-in area or an interactive play environment.
  • The networked conference/seminar room includes web conferencing capabilities as well as two large monitors that can support multi-screen presentations.Visitors can connect their own laptop into the system or use a dedicated iMac for presentations.
  • The central room of the Game Lab can be configured in numerous ways to support a wide range of functions/events. It includes one 85" 4K monitor, three moveable two-sided whiteboards, as well as three moveable hybrid whiteboards with 32" monitors. Sample configurations include: open space for a large group discussion, focused play-testing area with three small satellite work areas, and a long "mini-classroom" space with two satellite work areas. With advance notice, up to 12 iMac computers can be integrated into the "mini-classroom" configuration.
  • The Game Lab classroom supports small- to moderately-sized classes in a modifiable lecture/demo/discussion educational environment. The room includes two synched, convertible high-resolution projectors that provide nearly 25 linear feet of display.


The photography labs available to students enrolled in photography courses include the darkroom, film processing lab, framing and mounting workshop, and an advanced photo finishing suite. Our darkroom is equipped with 15 enlarging stations for the production of silver gelatin prints from negatives ranging in size from 35mm, medium format 120, and large format 4x5 black and white films. The darkroom is also equipped with a UV exposure unit allowing students to create Cyanotype, Gum Bichromate, Platinum, and other “printing-out-processes” for intermediate photography students. Our film processing lab is equipped for standard and advance processing of black and white film. Our framing and mounting workshop is set up to allow students to make finishing touches to their final image presentation. Our advanced photo finishing suite is reservation based digital lab equipped with two Mac-based workstations with Canon Pro-1000 printers and Epson V850 Pro film scanners, and a Canon ipf6400 24” large format roll printer for extra-large printing needs. The photography labs are located in the Media Production Center, rooms 102, 103, 106, 108a, 115, and 116.

For All Students


The library's Makerspace is a place where people with similar interests can come together to work on projects while sharing ideas and knowledge. It facilitates the construction of knowledge through the manipulation and creation of material objects. The space is well-equipped with many different tools, materials, and information resources so patrons feel comfortable working on projects independently or in groups within the space that fall under three workbenches.

  • 3D Creation: 3D Printer, Carvey
  • Digital Production: poster printing (large format printer) and circuits (Raspberry Pi and e-textiles)
  • Craft Fabrication: manual/power tools (hammer, screwdriver, wrench, plier, power drill, dremel kit, sander), sewing (sewing machine, dress form), and handcrafting (soldering iron, hot glue gun, embroidery, paper crafts, carving tools)

Design and Build Lab

The Design and Build Lab is an educational resource that supports all members of the AU community as they "create things that solve problems." DaBL has a wide selection of digital and analog fabrication equipment including a workbench, 3D printer, laser cutter, vinyl cutter, sewing machine, and heat press.

Mac Lab

The Mac Lab is located in the Anderson Computing Complex in room B-16. The lab hosts nine high-level Mac computers and a wide variety of multimedia development software.

SOC Open Editing Lab

The Editing Lab is an open work space designed for students to complete projects in film, video and graphics. The lab contains 13 MacPro and iMac computer systems equipped with the latest versions of Final Cut Pro and Adobe Creative Cloud software, including Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects and Audition. The lab is located in McKinley T13 and is open 24/7.