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Bardo Arts Center Blog

Bardo Arts Center turns 15 this year! Celebrate by exploring our blog to discover upcoming events and experiences from the WCU Fine Art Museum and the Bardo Arts Center (BAC) Performance Hall. Learn about our fall exhibitions, film screenings, and other opportunities, all available in a virtual format! Please note: Bardo Arts Center is not currently open to the general public, for more information visit arts.wcu.edu/covid-19.

Tekki Lomnicki in Code of the Freaks

Code of the Freaks

Code of the Freaks presents a radical reframing of the use of disabled characters in film. Using hundreds of clips spanning over 100 years of moviemaking, and a cast of disabled artists, scholars and activists, it’s a scorching critique of some of Hollywood’s most beloved characters. This revelatory documentary investigates the power of movie imagery to shape the beliefs and behaviors of the general public toward disabled people, and of disabled people toward themselves.   

Picture Character Official Promo Image

SouthArts Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers

Although the Hall will be closed to the public, we are offering a streaming documentary film series featuring opportunities to meet various members of the film crew through a virtual post-film Q and A experience. The films are part of the SouthArts Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers and will be available to watch on any device, including your TV through a Roku and more. Further information, including ticketing details, coming soon!  

Picture Character Promo Poop Rock

Picture Character

The rapid rise 📈 of emoji (Japanese for “picture character”) is a global 🌍 phenomenon without precedent. Their widespread use and ability to convey complex messages have not only cemented emoji's place as an emerging digital language 🗣, but prompted difficult questions 🤔 about the creation of a language and digital communication’s fraught ties 😣 to identity and inclusion. In PICTURE CHARACTER, Directors Martha Shane and Ian Cheney lead viewers 👀 on a deep dive into the ever-evolving world of picture characters, from their humble beginnings in Japan 󾓥 to mobile keyboards 📱 the world 🌎 over, and shed fresh light 💡 on the private consortium 👥 that approves new emoji offerings and the individuals fighting ✊ to make the language more representative of its billions of users.  

Lonnie Holley in his studio in 2018

Thumbs Up for Mother Earth: The Lonnie Holley Story

After the world gave up on Lonnie Holley, the Universe sent him the gift of art. Born, one of 27 children in Jim Crow Alabama, Holley was stolen away as an infant and sold for a pint of whiskey. Growing up in grinding poverty and abuse on society’s margins left its scars. At age 28, Holley discovers making things quiets the demons that haunt him to this day. He begins to make art out of what the rest of us throw away—trash, garbage and debris. Now, nearing 70 years of age, his artwork sits in the Smithsonian, the National Gallery, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, while his music has garnered international critical acclaim for its stirring soulful depth. Thumbs Up for Mother Universe tells the story of how Lonnie Holley overcame the longest of odds to become an unlikely art superstar.  

Carolina Social Justice Book Club

Carolina Social Justice Book Club

We’re excited to announce the launch of the Carolina Social Justice Book Club from the WCU Belcher College! This online community is open to anyone at WCU and beyond. It is a place for individuals to connect with each other and enjoy a selection of books that increase awareness and understanding of different social justice topics. There is no cost to participate – you just have to get a copy of the book to enjoy.   

Resounding Change: Sonic Art and the Environment Installation View

WCU Fine Art Museum Excellence in Exhibitions Award

The Museum's exhibition, Resounding Change: Sonic Art and the Environment, received the Gold Award from the Southeastern Museums Conference "Excellence in Exhibitions" competition in the under $25,000 budget category! The Gold award is the highest honor an exhibition can receive in each category.   

Bernadine George, Pot, ceramic, 4 x 5 x 5 inches, Gift of Lambert Wilson

Cultivating Collections: Ceramics

Over 80 works make up the Museum’s ceramics collection and range from functional wood-fired porcelain and sculptural stoneware to a multi-piece earthenware installation. While the first clay works entered the University’s art collection in the 1980s and 1990s as part of the Art Department’s artists-in-residence program, the ceramics collection got a kickstart in 2005 when Founding Director of the WCU Fine Art Museum, Martin DeWitt, began making strategic purchases from regional artists and WCU students.   

 Above: Jane Culp, Narrow Earth Trail, watercolor and pencil on paper, 1993, 22 x 30 inches, Gift of the Artist

Cultivating Collections: Paintings

The WCU Fine Art Museum’s paintings collection contains over 180 works in oil, acrylic, watercolor, enamel, and gouache created from 1950 to the present. To engage students in the process of reviewing the Collection, the Museum’s Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, Carolyn Grosch, worked with her Exhibition Practicum class to develop, Cultivating Collections: Paintings. Students selected works to display, interviewed artists, wrote labels, and evaluated strengths and opportunities for the paintings collection.  

Libby Fleet, Diner, Graphic Design

BFA Portfolio Exhibition

Experience work by graduating Bachelor of Fine Arts students from the WCU School of Art and Design. This exhibition highlights their comprehensive course of study at Western Carolina University and serves as a preface to their forthcoming careers as professional artists.  

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