Bachelor of Fine Arts portfolio exhibition reception held virtually

The Western Carolina University School of Art and Design studio art and graphic design majors held their annual portfolio exhibition online on November 12 from 5-7 p.m. Studio art students were able to present from 5-6 p.m., followed by graphic design students from 6-7 p.m. Students were given about four minutes each to present one of their pieces and have a discussion on their methods.  

Graduating Western Carolina University studio art and graphic design majors were able to showcase some of their much labored over art on an online platform streamed on the Bardo Arts Center’s YouTube channel. The artists used their limited time wisely to describe their processes, inspiration, and materials in such an open way it is evident to see the soul that went into each piece. 

 Artists such as Jay Brown considered things such as her own personal identity and spirituality in her piece “Ego in Mundum (garden of Gia’s giant koi)” which featured a ceramic statue and bonsai tree element as well as a water feature that the artist herself describes to be a challenge to work with. Another featured artist of the night was Madeleine Franzen who used her love of baking to designing her installation titled, “Madeleine’s Bakery” which utilized ceramics and physical paintings to convey her dream of one day owning a bakery to the viewer. Rachel High on the contrary created a series of physical self-portrait paintings in a monochromatic and abstract realism style using oil paint on canvas. 

Some more notable artists from the hour were Jonathan Pittman who created a series of eerie sculptures that doubled as incense burners, Maya White who used acrylic and oil paint on paneling to depict a trip she took to the Outer Banks and the culture that surrounds the area and people and Cameron Tarte’s piece titled “Holy Grail” depicting a beautifully detailed bleeding hand holding a broken mug. Other artists of the hour included Cristina Colom Muñoz, Kelsey Dozier, Caitlyn French, Chloe Kaylor, Tracie Macias, Sadie Sequoya, and Fisher Sherrill who all labored for hours, days and in some cases years over their craft.  

There was a brief intermission before the second half of the program commenced and the graphic design students began presenting their works. This section began with William Bundy presenting a few of his animation pieces as well as his striking portrait series that uses bold colors to draw in the viewer. Following, however not at all overshadowed by Bundy, Libby Fleet showed off her works which consisted of collage pieces as well as humorous animations and as she put it “relatable content”. Graham Gooden and Zoë Koval both used their platforms as artists to create pieces that spoke for change. For Gooden, it was using traditional Chinese zodiac figures to illustrate violence during the Hong Kong riots and for Koval it was speaking out for change in the ways we treat our oceans. 

 More artists included Brian Heindal and Emily Hughes who both used a vaporwave and 80’s inspiration for their pieces and Hallie Sholar who you might know has created poster designs for the department of campus activities marketing team. Casey Sweet is also another talented artist and has been featured on the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center’s postcard for this month. Other artists who closed out the show with a bang were Matthew Harris, Winston Massey, Emily Miller, Kristen Price, Melinda Solorio and Justin Toms.  

This exhibition is currently on display in the WCU Fine Art Museum through November 19. You can view the full reception at the WCU Bardo fine arts center on YouTube or via this link: Virtual BFA Portfolio Exhibition Reception. Additionally you can find more information about the art center at As these students graduate and continue on to their professional lives the skill and dedication that they have shown in this portfolio exhibition will not go unnoticed.