The WCU Fine Art Museum at Bardo Arts Center will offer its annual MFA Thesis Exhibition in a virtual format this year. The exhibition runs from Tuesday, April 13, through May 7, with a virtual reception on April 15.
MFA candidate Perry Houlditch says his works in the exhibition bear witness to his creative journey during the MFA program. “This program has brought me into better alignment with my values as a maker and environmentalist,” he says. For 20 years, Houlditch painted landscapes using his own handmade oil paints. “I started to realize that the use of toxic materials in my work was a contradiction to my naturalistic values,” he says.
“As a maker, my work was not in balance with nature. So, I pivoted while in graduate school, and began to experiment with making my own non-toxic watercolors and paper.”
MFA candidate Lex Turnbull, whose work explores systemic boundaries and the way these constructs oppress and marginalize certain communities, says the show is not only a satisfying culmination of the MFA program but also a chance for a different exhibiting experience for the artists. “In addition to the exhibition functioning as closure for all the hard work put into your practice as an MFA student, this opportunity allows emerging artists to have the experience of a museum show in a place where they can be comfortable,” Turnbull says. “This will be my second museum show, but it’s certainly a different dynamic than exhibiting in a gallery, and the experience of having hands-on installation in the museum space is crucial.”
While the Museum is still closed to the general public, an interactive 360-degree tour, gallery videos and more content will be available online. Visit arts.wcu.edu/exhibitions to learn more about the MFA Thesis Exhibition and other exhibitions on display.