The Alper Initiative for Washington Art is dedicated to preserving, presenting, and creating the art history of Washington through our book collection, database, events, and exhibitions. The Alper Initiative includes:
- 5 new exhibitions submitted by Washington-area artists each year
- 2,000 square feet of gallery space in the AU Museum
- 200+ books on DC's unique art history
The Alper Initiative for Washington Art is made possible through a generous grant by American University alumna and art advocate Carolyn Small Alper.
- Behind the Scenes: Preparators and their Art
- Communicating Vessels: Ed Bisese, Elyse Harrison, Wayne Paige
- Christine Neill: Observations from the Valley Floor
- Prints & Artists: WD Printmaking Workshop 1970-Present
- Crossing Boundaries & Breaking Borders: DMV Printmaking
- Kenneth Victor Young: Continuum
- Michael B. Platt + Carol A. Beane: Influences and Connections
- Ian Jehle: Dynamical Systems
- D'Arista Legacy
- Latitude: The Washington Women's Arts Center
- Michael Clark: Washington Artist
- Frank DiPerna Retrospective
- The Trawick Prize
- Making a Scene: Jefferson Place
- Performing the Border
- Summerford Legacy
- Joe Cameron: Touching Air
- Melissa Ichiuji: Make You Love Me
- It Takes a Nation: Art for Social Justice
- The Looking Glass: Artist Immigrants of Washington
- Twisted Teenage Plot
- Circle of Friends
The Alper Initiative for Washington Art promotes an understanding and appreciation of the art and artists of the Washington Metropolitan Area.
We do this by:
- Providing and staffing a dedicated space within the American University Museum
- Encouraging dialogue about the history of Washington art and today's emerging and established artists through stimulating programs and provocative events
- Developing high quality exhibitions, educational programs, and documentation
- Fostering connections between local artists and the DC community
- Providing resources for the study of Washington art and artists
- The History of Washington art should be preserved, presented and created
- The DC art community should have accessible resources to learn about the history of DC art, engage with art created by local artists today, and have a platform to exchange ideas
- Artists should have a space to go to where they can exhibit, network with other artists, interact with collectors, critics, curators, and build their creative capacity
The AIWA is a 2,000 square foot space located in the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. There are 5 exhibitions of Washington art per year. The space includes a common gathering space, exhibition and event space, and film and video screening capabilities. We are the only museum space dedicated to the display, research, and encouragement of the region's art and artistic community.
The Alper Initiative for Washington Art is the gift of Carolyn Small Alper, a Washington artist, AU alumna, and philanthropist. It provides the space and resources to fulfill one of the American University Museum's primary objectives and meet one of the region's greatest needs: to promote an understanding and appreciation of our region's art and artists from our past, present, and future. It is an exhibition space and a place for study and research. But it is first of all a meeting place for people and ideas. Its most important contribution to the Washington region may well be the opportunities it provides for us to exchange perceptions and, perhaps, rewrite the history of Washington art.
The Initiative presents five exhibitions of regional artists each year, creates publications and programming to engage and build the audience for Washington art, and serves as a resource for its study and critical appreciation. Curators are solicited to propose appropriate exhibitions, and artists are invited to submit their work for consideration on our website.
The Initiative is a part of a thriving museum that for ten years has specialized in presenting Washington artists in the larger context of national and international contemporary art. Washington art is strong, intelligent, and relevant, and has earned a prominent place in contemporary cultural discourse. Thanks to the Alper Initiative for Washington Art, we have the means to present serious, focused exhibitions for all the world's appreciation and enlightenment.
Jack RasmussenDirector and Curator
American University Museum
Images (top-bottom): Yuri Schwebler, Pyramids, c. 1974. Sand, plywood, brass plumb bobs. Installation inside the atrium of the Corcoran. Image courtesy Yuri Schwebler Archives, Salem, NY.
Yuri Schwebler, Dix X with view of the Eiffel Tower, 1977. Courtesy Enid Sanford.
Read a full letter from AU Museum Director & Curator Jack Rasmussen and a few reflections from those closest to the Alper Initiative, our artists, partners, and students.
While we are doing everything possible to ensure we maintain the quality of exhibitions you have come to expect, we are facing many of the challenges other museums are experiencing at this time. Please consider making a contribution by becoming a member. No gift is too small, and your support matters now more than ever before.