Student artwork and new perspectives at WCU’s Fine Art Museum

The Western Carolina University Fine Art Museum featured the Bachelor of Fine Arts Portfolio Exhibition from Nov. 7 until Dec. 8. The exhibit is curated in the Fine Art Museum annually in the fall. The exhibition is made up entirely of student-created works, making it a unique collection. 

Linzy Rainess working on her piece Invasion of Privacy, photo courtesy of @bardoartscenter on Instagram.

Students pursuing their bachelor’s in fine arts were given the opportunity to create work that would be displayed to the public. This gave students a unique opportunity to create something meaningful and share it with audiences beyond their peers and professors. The exhibition was a feast for the eyes, offering new and diverse perspectives on many different subjects. There were pieces about the inner workings of the mind, living with disabilities, the corruption of the economy and the invasion of private spaces.  

This year, the exhibition featured 12 student artists. The artists worked with a variety of mediums, making the exhibition come to life with colors and textures. There were installation pieces, interactive pieces, sculptures and a variety of paintings.  

The work for this portfolio is completed over the course of a semester by seniors pursuing a BFA in art with a studio art emphasis.  

The BFA Portfolio Exhibition is an exciting feast for the eyes. Photo by Cora Haste.

Josh Masters is a senior in the studio art program. He credits the portfolio class and others like it for familiarizing him with working in a studio. Masters’ piece, “Divisive Perceptions” features floor to ceiling canvases depicting members of queer and disabled communities depicted in intimate settings. 

“These pieces are a little bit more personal to me because I am part of both of these communities and I find that making art about myself can be a little bit harder, so instead I’ve widened the scope a bit and made it more about the community,” Masters said.  

The display also features an extensive collection of ceramic works. The studio art program at WCU has given Masters a chance to experience different art forms. Through his time at WCU he has gained a new appreciation for ceramic art.  

“It’s one of our really big strengths in the area for the arts,” Masters said, “it’s so much fun to play with clay, it’s like you’re a kid again.” 

Working with many different mediums is an exciting part of the BFA Studio Art program curriculum. Senior Linzy Rainess also had a piece on display in the exhibition. Her piece, “Invasion of Privacy” features five painted canvases that provide an interesting perspective into the bathroom. Rainess is double majoring in fine arts and forensic anthropology. She brings a new perspective to her art through her studies in forensics.  

“Life drawing proportions are super important and that’s actually something that I am very happy to have learned because combining my interest with forensic anthropology and studio art, one of the things I was interested in was facial reconstruction,” Rainess said.  

The BFA Portfolio Exhibition is on display through Dec. 8 in the WCU Fine Art Museum. The museum is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Thursday until 7 p.m.