Student work ‘takes flight’ in airport gallery

This year’s annual showcase at the Asheville Regional Airport highlights students from Western Carolina University’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program as a group show. 

The exhibit features eight WCU students who each demonstrate a different technique, theme, approach and discipline.

Kate Chassner’s work

Kate Chassner is one of the students featured in the showcase and she is currently in her third year of the MFA program. 

When she’s not working on her art, she is “running, making forts with my children, Eleanor and Theo, teaching art to middle schoolers, and going on adventures with my husband, Jonathan” which often leads to her inspiration. 

When asked what the art exhibit meant for her, Chassner explained, “I am thrilled to have my work in the airport visible to many people traveling in and out of Asheville. I live in Asheville and many of my friends have already had the opportunity to see the work in the gallery.” 

Chassner defines her artwork as “mixed-media collages, that speak to ideas on memory, landscape, and connection.” She explains that collage is an art form where she can find “images from magazines or my own photos and drawings and it feels familiar and offers a place of entry for the viewer. Although my work is abstracted, like “Topographical Tendencies” in the AVL airport gallery, if the viewer looks closer there are images of landscapes they would recognize.” 

After being awarded a scholarship to the Penland School of Craft last summer through WCU, she was introduced to paper casting and paper sculptures which she is currently exploring new techniques. 

“My work is always changing, as I grow as a human and artist. I am always open to talking to other artists and art lovers about the work,” Chassner explained. 

She expresses herself in her art “by using personal images and themes that present ideas of playfulness, balance and connection. Three very important values in my life.”

“My art is an outlet for me, a necessary channel to get my creative ideas out into the world, or sometimes just for me. I am always thinking about my artwork and connected to it in every part of the process.” 

Art is a part of Chassner and she explains that she will continue to teach young students while also continuing her own practice by applying for shows and sharing her work. Her thesis show will be this April in the Bardo Art Museum on WCU’s campus. 

The art exhibit will be on display until March 18 at the Asheville Regional Airport, so don’t forget to book a flight or simply stop by. 

For anyone further interested in Chassner’s work, her website is and her Instagram is @kate_chassner.