Galleries Visual Arts

MFA Thesis Exhibition at WCU Fine Art Museum

Aldonza, 2019. Lauren A. Medford, artist

The Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) program at WCU will host the 2019 MFA Thesis Exhibition from Tuesday, April 9, to May 3 at the WCU Fine Art Museum. There will be a reception for the exhibition featuring a gallery talk, music and refreshments from 5–7 p.m. on Thursday, April 25. “The MFA Thesis exhibition is a culminating exhibition for the MFA candidates,” says Tom Ashcraft, distinguished professor of Visual Arts at WCU and MFA program director. “The professional setting of the Fine Art Museum exhibition is where the artists, after three years of research and exploring new territory, present their final creative work.” The MFA Thesis Exhibition spotlights three graduating artists in the WCU School of Art and Design MFA Program in Studio Art: Chelsea Dobert-Kehn, Lauren Medford and David Skinner. Both the exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

Skinner entered the MFA program as a landscape painter with an intention to transform his style. “This exhibition represents a major change in the kind of painting I’ve been doing for the last 20 years,” he says. “Though there are still elements of landscape imagery in this thesis show, the new body of work as a whole represents a complete reawakening for me as a painter.” For Dobert-Kehn, the exhibition is the culmination of a creative journey. “I gave up a lot to come to Western and was challenged in ways I did not expect,” Dobert-Kehn says. “WCU has given me space to learn skills needed to realize the work I wanted to create.” The theme for Medford’s body of work in the exhibition is the concept of “diva-ness,” she says. “I address the aesthetics of flamboyance, glamour and attitude to express ‘camp’ sensibilities of the Diva in popular culture.”

The WCU Fine Art Museum at Bardo Arts Center is located at 199 Centennial Drive in Cullowhee. Regular museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursdays until 7 p.m. For more information about programming, call 828.227.ARTS or visit

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