Exhibition featuring MFA student work on display at Fine Art Museum

“Signs,” fabric, wood and trim, by Chelsea Dobert-Kehn.

The Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition, showcasing the work of three graduating artists at Western Carolina University, will be on display at the university’s Fine Art Museum through Friday, May 3.

The exhibition features a variety of media and surveys a range of conceptual themes and creative approaches that characterize the global cultural landscape and contemporary art practice. A reception for the artists is set for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at the WCU museum.

Featuring three graduating artists – Chelsea Dobert-Kehn, Lauren A. Medford and David Skinner – the exhibition represents a synthesis of each student’s experience in the Master of Fine Arts Program in Studio Art in WCU’s School of Art and Design.

The students’ work also will be on display at the REVOLVE Ramp Gallery in Asheville through May 3. The gallery is located at 821 Riverside Drive.

“Aldonza,” polystyrene foam, fabrics, feathers, glass beads and dressmaker pins, by Lauren A. Medford.

Dobert-Kehn holds a bachelor’s of fine arts from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Dobert-Kehn’s work exploring queer experience can be read on multiple levels, ranging from humorous to intensely serious. Bodies, queer sexuality and sense of place are the themes that form connective threads, with inherent playfulness that defuses the seriousness of those topics, thereby creating openings for the audience to engage more deeply.

Medford, a native of Waynesville, holds an associate degree in advertising and graphic design from Southwestern Community College and a bachelor’s in fine art from WCU. Her work addresses the aesthetics of flamboyance, glamour and attitude to express “camp” sensibilities of the Diva in popular culture. She explores those ideas by using various materials associated with fashion to create sculptural forms.

“Tree Chapel,” oil on canvas, by David Skinner

Skinner is a native of Los Angeles who spent two years at the Burren College of Art on a painting residency before moving to Asheville in 2014. He graduated with a bachelor’s in fine art in 1986 from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he was awarded the William Dole Award for excellence in painting. His graduate work focuses on figurative imagery and the narrative potential that such imagery conveys. Skinner describes his work as offering “suggestive narratives” which necessitates an interpretive engagement from the viewer.  

For more information, call 828-227-ARTS or visit arts.wcu.edu/mfathesis.