Please view our online archive of past exhibitions from the past three seasons. For our full past exhibition history please click here.
Exhibitions below are organized by start date. Each year season is from September through August.
Women Painters of the Southeast
Jan 17 – March 24, 2017
Selected from the WCU Fine Art Museum’s permanent collection, this exhibition fills the museum walls in a celebration of the contributions of women painters from across the Southeastern U.S..
BFA Portfolio Exhibition
Nov 21 – Dec 9, 2016
This exhibition features the studio art production from graduating seniors in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program in the School of Art and Design. Following a comprehensive course of research and studio production, students present a group portfolio exhibition as a debut to their careers as professional artists. Exhibiting artists include: Charlendez Brooks, Eric Dean, Caroline Drew, Storm Favara, Alyssa Jordan, Ross Byrd, Victoria Simmons,and TyAnn Stubbs.
BFA Graphic Design Portfolio Exhibition
Nov 21 – Dec 9, 2016
Works presented in the BFA Graphic Design Portfolio Exhibition are the result of students’ semester-long studies in contemporary graphic design. Students will display works done in traditional print media, digital design, and motion graphics.
MFA Thesis Exhibition: Janet Richardson
Nov 9 – 18, 2016
MFA Thesis Exhibition: Jenna McDonald
Oct 26 – Nov 4, 2016
MFA Thesis Exhibition: Paul Farmer
Oct 3 – 21, 2016
Curated by Heather Mae Erickson
Oct 6 – Dec 16, 2016
Contemporary Clay, curated by Heather Mae Erickson, is an exhibition that examines the evolving, expanded field of clay and ceramics that runs October 6 – December 16, 2016. There are exciting shifts throughout the field, pushing this limitless material through new processes and concepts. This exhibition aims to show the depth and breadth of this material and its user’s ideas, ranging from, but not limited to, traditional and non-traditional functional objects, rapid prototyping, use of mixed materials in objects and installations and unfired clay as a final material. This exhibition encourages viewers to consider the concepts, processes and contexts of clay in contemporary art. Each artist, from emerging to established, was selected due to his or her noteworthy contribution to the field of contemporary clay and ceramics.
The Language of Weaving
Sept 12 – Nov 7, 2016
The Language of Weaving challenges what Western cultures traditionally consider literature. Through a lexicon of designs and patterns, Maya weavers provide rich narratives for the readers of their textiles. This exhibition examines the work of three distinct communities of Maya fiber artists in Mexico. Viewers will experience examples of the work of two female-led cooperatives of Maya fiber artists located in Chiapas state, Tsobol Anzetik in Chenalhó and Jalabil in Oxchuc, as well as the work of the Bonilla family in Santa Elena in Yucatan state. The Language of Weaving translates, for Spanish and English speaking audiences, the woven Maya tales of these communities.
Joel Morris: Artist and Friend
Sept 8 – Sept 16, 2016
A selection of work by the late Joel Morris, loaned from the collections of his devoted friends, who have endowed a scholarship in his honor for a student in the School of Art and Design. Morris, a WCU alumnus, made an art career as a painter, producing both traditional canvases, as well as outdoor murals across the state of North Carolina. Here in Cullowhee, he immortalized the Townhouse restaurant, a legendary local hangout, with a drawing that he made into prints. The exhibition is a tribute to his memory and his unique creative spirit.
Faculty Biennial Exhibition
Aug 22 – Sept 23, 2016
Outside of the classroom, faculty members in the School of Art & Design are active artists and scholars that make significant contributions to the arts. They regularly exhibit in venues across the globe, from New York to Los Angeles to Japan and speak at major conferences in their fields. Collectively, our faculty has received recognition and support from Fulbright, National Endowment for the Humanities, and National Endowment for the Arts. The School of Art & Design Faculty Biennial Exhibition provides students and the public an opportunity to view recent work created by theses distinguished faculty members whose primary research output is studio based.
June 13 – August 5, 2016
Elemental : conversations in art and poetry is an exhibition exploring the relationship between the written word and visual art with a focus on the four classical earthly elements. This exhibition features objects from the WCU Fine Art Museum’s collection that express the classical elements of earth, air, fire and water such as Robert Godfrey’s “Rekindling Fire”, Don Reitz’s “Geode Form” and Shan Goshorn’s “Pawnee Woman in a Field from the Earth Renewal Series ”. In an ekphrastic response to these objects, creative writers in residence for the Cullowhee Mountain Arts 2016 Summer Arts Series have created a rich literary experience for visitors to the exhibition. Their poems and short stories will be exhibited alongside the artwork that inspired them. Learn more here.
Vision & Vistas: Great Smoky Mountains
April 18 - September 23, 2016
Great Smoky Mountains: Vision & Vistas is and exhibition of sixty original photographs and drawings made by photographers and artists inspired by the grand vistas of the Great Smoky Mountains. Professional photographers include such notables as Jim Thompson, George Masa, and George Grant, as well as amateurs who hiked with the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club. Herbert Pelton and Nace Brock created images used by Asheville promoters to advocate for a national park in the Appalachians. Working for the National Park Service, Hiram Wilburn and Charles Grossman documented mountain culture within park boundaries and the road construction projects that forever altered it. Irving Fromer, J.D. Chaffin, and Alan Youngblood, men enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps, made pencil sketches of a wilderness previously unknown to them. Together, these artists focused on the grandeur of the landscape to lobby for a national park and promote conservation in the southern U.S. Without their vision, perhaps the Great Smoky Mountains National Park would not have come into being. Since its inception, the park has been a popular destination, setting visitation records topping 10 million annually.
Next Wave: MFA Candidacy Exhibition
April 18 – 29
Next Wave: Brendan Best, Ali Burnett, Javier FoxG. Vincent Gaulin, Martha Neaves, Zach Rogers, Don Sawyer, Charlotte White
48th Annual Undergraduate Exhibition
April 4 – April 29
Reception: April 21
Juror: Richard Gruber
This exhibition features new works by WCU undergraduate students and includes ceramics, drawing, graphic design, new media, painting, printmaking, photography, and sculpture. This year’s juror is J. Richard Gruber, PhD, former director of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, LA.
MFA Thesis Exhibition
March 31 – April 8, 2016
The WCU Fine Art Museum is proud to partner with the WCU School of Arts & Design in the presentation of new work by Tonya Dee Anderson, candidate in the Master of Fine Arts program. In this highly anticipated exhibition titled ' - - - - - - - ', the work challenges material, form, and space, exemplifying the power of metaphor and semiotics in art.
Emily Rose Ashton, BFA Senior Portfolio Show: "Terroir [tare WAHr]"
The word ‘terroir’ typically refers to the land that any certain wine is cultivated from. The land’s different climate, soil and terrain all affect the ‘terroir’ of a wine, or in this case, a person. “Terroir” is a collection of images that reflect a space that has nurtured the peoples within it. Using this definition, I have applied the ideal to the cultivation of a person and their moral and social being, and how that is affected by where they are from. These images show my personal surroundings and the places and spaces that have affected me directly.
Solitude, Mystery: John Julius Wilnoty
January 25 - March 25
John Julius Wilnoty has been described as a “legendary” figure. A member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, as an artist, he was driven to produce. A self-taught sculptor, he created hundreds of stone pieces, each with its own mysterious iconography. Wilnoty’s carvings are often complex, with multiple figures entwined together. As early as 1970, Rodney L. Leftwich, author of Arts and Crafts of the Cherokee, noted that Wilnoty derived “great pleasure in ‘hiding’ smaller designs of birds and other animals within the figures of larger ones.” Wilnoty had not been carving very long when he gained the attention of the public. He quickly and quietly became famous with his work in high demand. Writer John Parris labeled him the Cherokee’s “Michelangelo”.
Youth Art Month
March 1- 18, 2016
Reception: March 6
Budding artists from across Jackson County receive recognition for their talents during the annual Youth Art Month exhibit that runs through March at the Bardo Arts Center. Hosted by the WCU School of Art & Design this exhibit features artwork by local K-12 students.
Color + Theory : Past + Present
February 18 – May 6, 2016
Although color theory principles first appeared in the early 15th century, major advances were made by the German Bauhaus by artists like Josef Albers. Visitors to the exhibition will see an original 1963 edition of Albers’ Interaction of Color, considered a masterwork of art education, along with its 150 silkscreen color plates. Exhibition goers will have the opportunity to interact with the 150 color plates digitally in the 50th anniversary digital edition of Interaction of Color. This exhibition celebrates modern and contemporary artist who explore meaning and the use of color in art. This exhibition includes prints by Josef Albers, major works by renown color field painter and Asheville native Kenneth Noland, and new work by Odili Donald Odita, an abstract painter whose work explores color both in the figurative art historical context and in the sociopolitical sense. The exhibition and public programming are sponsored in part by the Ascent Partnership between WCU and Harris Regional and Swain Community hospitals.
Architecture of Survival: Pedro Lobo & Jarod Charzewski
Jan 25 – March 18, 2016
Jarod Charzewski’s site-specific installation uses the idea of land as a capsule for history. A section of exposed earth also known as escarpment reveals sedimentary layers of rock and earth, containing natural geological artifacts. These layers, are in essence, the history of our planet. This project is about fabricating history with our own synthetic and fleeting artifacts as the medium. In his series of photographs, Brazillian-born photographer, Pedro Lobo, documents the favelas or shantytowns in Rio de Janeiro. The favelas in Rio are the longest-lived squatter settlements in the world,. There are about one billion squatters worldwide, one million of which are in Rio de Janeiro. Lobo’s photographic landscapes hint at the organized chaos as homes scale the hills. The photographs capture the hardening of these urban spaces as people put down roots and community develops. These beautifully composed images do not shy away from the sprawl, or the hardships of the favelas, yet they are filled with optimism necessary for like in these marginalized urban neighborhoods. These images attempt to show the human dignity of the “favela” dwellers, in spite of all the difficulties faced by those who have no other choice but to live in these excluded communities.
Jan 25-Feb 29, 2016
Artwork by David Holt
Nov 2 – 24, 2015
MFA Thesis Exhibition: Mary Cozens
Nov 30 - Dec 14, 2015
BFA Portfolio Exhibit
Nov 23 - Dec 4, 2015
MFA Thesis Exhibit: Leigh Ann Parrish
Nov 5 – 25, 2015
The WCU Fine Art Museum is proud to partner with the WCU School of Arts & Design in the presentation of new work by candiddates in the Master of Fine Arts program. In this highly anticipated exhibition debut, four master artists introduce their work to the campus, community, and the world.
Oct 19 – Nov 2, 2015
Oct 19 – Nov 2, 2015
Connections: Diane Fox & Beauvais Lyons
Oct 12, 2015 – Jan 15, 2016
Photography by Diane Fox, Hokes Archive by Beauvais Lyons
Lyon's mock-documentary project, The Association for Creative Zoology, presents a tongue-in-cheek response to the ongoing controversy of Darwin's theory of evolution. Through prints, photographs, video, models, and other support materials, the installation posits how new animal species collaged together by the hand of God. In confusing the imaginary and real, Lyons challenges the ways that our beliefs about the world are formed.
Tomb to Taller: Maya Collection
Sept 17 – Nov 1, 2015
Artwork from the collection of Paul Worley & Melissa Birkhofer.
Inspired by the prehispanic tradition of painted codices, contemporary Mayan book artists produce extraordinary works significant to the field of book arts. This exhibition features artist books from a community of Maya printmakers, papermaker and book artists, Taller Leñateros, the Woodlanders Workshop in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.
Cathryn Griffin Photography
Aug 3 – Sept 25, 2015
Somewhere Between Here and There: Cathryn Griffin
This visual anthology brings to light the liminal moments in time, the regular stuff of life that one neglects to remember. Griffins captures these moments in photographs that command us to stop and consider the power of these quiet moments.
July 1 - Sept 4, 2015
Yee-Haw: iconic Knoxville print studio 1996- 2012
On display from the WCU Fine Art Museum’s permanent collection, this exhibition features works printed at Yee-Haw Industries by founders Julie Belcher and Kevin Bradley. Yee-Haw’s acclaimed rough-cut, honky-tonk style caught the eye of cultural icons like Lucinda Williams, Cormac McCarthy and Ralph Lauren, who commissioned work from Belcher and Bradley. During its time as a working press studio, Yee- Haw held the largest collection of letterpress type east of the Mississippi.
Cullowhee Mountain Arts: Source Material
June 15 - July 24, 2015
April 9 - May 29, 2015
Outside of the classroom, faculty members in the School of Art & Design are active artists and scholars that make significant contributions to the arts. They regularly exhibit in venues across the globe, from New York to Los Angeles to Japan and speak at major conferences in their fields. Collectively, our faculty have received recognition and support from Fulbright, National Endowment for the Humanities, and National Endowment for the Arts. The School of Art & Design Faculty Biennial Exhibition provides students and the public an opportunity to view recent work created by theses distinguished faculty members whose primary research output is studio based.
2015 Juried Undergrad Exhibition
April 23 - May 8, 2015
Reception; April 23, 2015
The Juried Undergraduate Exhibition is an independently juried exhibition featuring the best of new and innovative, creative expression in a variety of media by undergraduate students at Western Carolina University.
MFA Thesis Exhibitions
March 23 - April 10, 2015
Amy M. Anderson / Kevin McNiff
Youth Art Month
March 1 - March 23, 2015
Reception; March 22
Budding artists from across Jackson County receive recognition for their talents during the annual Youth Art Month exhibit hosted by Western Carolina University's School of Art & Design & Fine Art Museum. The exhibit at WCU's Bardo Arts center is a celebration of Youth Art Month, a nationwide recognition of visual arts programs and the role they play in the nation's public schools.
Jan 22 - March 27, 2015
Anna Jensen plays an intended, focused game of hide and seek, pushing and pulling, teasing us, pointing fingers while, at the same time, asking for forgiveness. Her paintings are self-possessed confessions full of emotional underpinnings, littered with pop and art historical references that tend to ground her efforts, keeping them in this world. She refers to her work as 'psychological landscapes' that are more intimately revelatory than therapeutic or settled. Stylistically adventurous, she mixes the beautiful with the grotesque, the personal with the arcane, throwing her world out for us to decipher, forcing us to deal with them. Provocative, un-nerving, calculated, and fragile.
Karen Ann Myers creates naturalistic, intimate portraits of women that she knows or who act as stand-ins for the artist herself. From a view peering in from above, she places each person in an imagined bedroom setting, ripe with patterning fabrics, sparse modern furniture and accessories, an almost fashion layout but much more unsettling, almost dream-like. "I think of all of my paintings as psychological self-portraits, whether I am painting myself or someone else", says the artist. "These portraits are my version of a written diary. Each painting marks a specific time in my life and documents the objects of importance at that time. They are short-stories, mini-narratives, influenced by my intimate experiences with friends, family, and lovers."
Vadim Bora: Portraits
Jan 29 - March 6, 2015
David Raymond & Eric Oglander
Oct 30, 2014 - Jan 9, 2015
An internationally renowned artist, filmmaker, art collector and arts supporter, David Raymond presents a select sampling of his re-contextualized (and now) artful 'found' photographs that he has been carefully collecting in the US, South America and Europe for the past ten years. Visiting flea markets, thrift stores and searching on the Net, Raymond has amassed a growing collection of several thousand images. When viewed singularly or in 'curated' groupings, these seemingly cast-away and forlorn pictures take on new meaning and in a sense, are brought back to life. Eric Orlander has been collecting images of mirrors for sale on Craigslist for several years and more than 500 lo-res images will be featured that shed light on many aspects of this American life. Opening portals to other worlds, together these two shows merge the everyday and the overlooked with the highest aspirations of what 'art', found or intended, can offer.
Senior Portfolio Exhibition
Nov 17 - Dec 5, 2014
The best of our senior's semester work, in all kinds of media, finds its way into the museum.
Aug 21 - Nov 7, 2014
Switching between the slow, gentle rhythm of hand embroidery to the more aggressive speed of the machine stitching, Ringquist creates unique personal and universal narratives informed by modern life infected by a Feminist sensibility. Snippets of text in varying styles, riots of textured color, almost stream of consciousness image making and laying, crowd these misshapen and upstretched fabrics. According to the artist, "I tell love stories and create veiled fractured narratives full of double entendre. My work has been inspired of late by the fictional relocation story of the Swiss Family Robinson and my own cross-country move to Brooklyn. My work is at times careful, contrasted with moments of fast machine-stitched frenzy, expressing implicit and explicit intensities, and alternating between innocence and recklessness."
Teetering on the Edge of the Uncanny
Sep 5 - Nov 7, 2014
Its virtually impossible to visit any urban area anywhere in the world without finding examples of street art, both sanctioned and 'illegal'. Websites such as the long-standing Wooster Collective and the recent Google Street Art Project serve as roadmaps for accessing some of the more noted examples. For Teetering on the Edge of the Uncanny, we invited four regionally-based artists will descend on the WCU campus for several days to create live action paintings on four of FAM's huge four-sided walls, using spray paint and brushes, mixing working plans with improvisation.
Gary Kachadourian: Forest/City
Aug 21 - Oct 17, 2014
Gary Kachadourian's home-brewed batch of 'absurd realism' takes a new route in this full-room size installation titled Forest/City that engulfs FAM's entire main gallery and a portion of the museum lobby. The artist is creating a processed version of the great outdoors that started with a series of pain-staking, detail-oriented, scaled-down pencil drawings and a gallery mock-up that is then scaled-up, re-produced, and mechanically printed to a huge, life-size proportion and installed on the gallery's walls and floor, engulfing the visitor and exaggerating marks, line-work, and distortions caused by the printing process.
May 19 - Aug 1, 2014
Vitreography is a printmaking technique that uses glass matrix instead of the traditional metal, wood or stone. The artists who pioneered this method, alongside the internationally-renown artist Harvey K. Littleton, experimented with a variety of printmaking methods using the glass plate. Tucked away in the mountains of Spruce Pine, North Carolina, Littleton Studios has inspired many artists-in-residence to explore the concepts and aesthetics of the natural world that surrounded them. This exhibition explores a variety of these styles and was selected from the FAM's collection.
North Carolina Art Educators Exhibition
May 29 - July 18, 2014
This biennial juried exhibition features the work of art educators throughout North Carolina and is hosted every two years by different visual art organizations across the state. On exhibit at FAM/WCU this year, the exhibition celebrates the artwork of those artists who ultimately link children with the wonderful and engaging world of art making. This year's selected artists include: Jenny Schultz, Vijay Govender, Kathleen Bennett, Megan Bostic, Madison Crawley, and others.
CMA Summer Faculty Exhibition
June 19 - July 25, 2014
The 2014 Cullowhee Mountain Arts faculty invitational features the work of 23 contemporary artists working throughout the United States, bringing a broad range of contemporary expressions to the Fine Art Museum. Expect an invigorating compilation of art in the following disciplines: Book Arts, Ceramics, Mixed Media, Painting, Printmaking and Sculpture from artists Alice Austin, Jeff Oestreich, Pat Burns, Rebecca Crowell, Jan Mason Steeves, and others.
Remote Sites of War
April 10- May 30, 2014
Ongoing-armed conflicts involving the United States in some place in the world seem to have little effect on us-unless of course, we either have participated in them or know friends and families who have. Generally speaking though, the embodiment of war, what really happens on the battlegrounds or the behind-the-scenes activities are generally hidden from view. Artists Todd Drake, Skip Rohde, and Christopher Sims, veterans in their own right, present a worldview of war that is quietly revealing and poses as many questions for us to consider as it does answers. The artists don't take sides. Instead, they share their forthright observations from what they have experienced, were privy to, or have aimed to interject, each in different ways.
Joan Byrd & George Rector: Ceramics
February 17 - May 9, 2014
The Fine Art Museum is proud to present a special exhibition featuring a selection of works from the ceramic collection of Joan Byrd and George Rector. The much celebrated WCU professor and influential educator Joan Byrd has taught and inspired many students here for the past forty-three years and is set to retire at end of this school year. Some of the artists whose works will be on view (besides pieces by Joan and George) include Lanier Meaders, Burlon Craig, Tatsuzo Shimaoka, and Sandy Simon.
2014 Juried Undergraduate Exhibition
April 10 - May 9, 2014
Reception; April 10, 2014
An independently juried exhibition featuring the best of new and innovative creative expression in a variety of media by undergraduates of the School of Art and Design.
Touch in Real Time: Holly Hanessian
January 27 - April 4, 2014
Reception; Feb 20, 2014
Hanessian collects handshakes form across the country. Each handshake contains a wet piece of clay, imprinting each participant's hand with the artist's. The hold each other for 15-20 seconds, the time it takes for the bonding hormone, oxytocin to be released into our bodies. Hanessian studied the effect of the handshake alongside Dr. Greg Siegle at the University of Pittsburgh TREND (The Transdisciplinary Research in Emotion, Neuroscience, and Development).
The results of Hanessian's ongoing exploration into the intersection of art, emotion and neuroscience culminate in a series of exhibitions that serve as much of a sensory experience as the handshake itself. Her installation, Touch in Real Time, incorporates dozens of handshakes from across the country, artifacts of the moment, that leave the viewer in a constellation of shared experience.
Edward J Bisese: Good Thoughts Better
Jan 16th - March 31, 2014
Reception; Jan 16, 2014
Celebrating beauty, the grotesque, altered realities and real events, Ed Bisese visits us with his oddly vibrant paintings, drawings, and assorted objects. Here you'll find Hawaiian Kings and Hula Dancers, Bunnymen, three-armed migrant workers, dream sequences, and acutely observed portraiture. Bisese paints and draws on unstrectched canvas, wood panels of various shapes, paper, vinyl records, and postcards. On occasion, these images will assume a three-dimensional form, full of exaggerated scale, dream-like expression, and unique sensibilities.
MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Feb 10 - March 14, 2014
Featuring creative research by MFA degree candidates at WCU, the solo exhibitions in a variety of media reveal advanced critical analysis of each artist's creative process and personal passion as emerging art studio professionals.
Exhibiting Artists: Carrie Croom & Amanda Gaebel