"Gauge" Akexa Hatabaja, Patrick Thompson, Raven Chacon, Danny Osbourne, Sarah McNair-Landry, Eric  McNair-Landry, and Erik Boomer three-channel sound and video instillation

Fine arts, music and drama kick off season at WCU

Main Gallery exhibitions at the WCU Fine Art Museum at Bardo Arts Center feature Resounding Change: Sonic Art and the Environment, which highlights contemporary artists who explore environmental issues through sound.

Co-curated by Carolyn Grosch, Curator of Collections & Exhibitions at the WCU Fine Art Museum, and Tyler Kinnear, adjunct Instructor in the WCU School of Music, the works in the exhibition range from a large-scale video installation to more intimate encounters with sound, asking questions about listening, ecology, empathy, climate change, and more. The exhibition runs from Aug. 20 through Dec. 6, 2019, with a reception on Aug. 22 from 5-7 p.m. featuring live music, light food, drinks, and a curator-led gallery talk.

One notable work in the exhibition is Gauge, an immersive gallery experience that combines sound and images of the ever-changing arctic landscape. Created by Raven Chacon, a Navajo Nation artist, and six other collaborators, this work captures dramatic imagery and sound of an ice mural as it rises and falls with the tide. In partnership with the WCU School of Art and Design’s Visiting Artist and Lecture Series, exhibiting artist Raven Chacon will come to campus on Sept. 5 for a gallery talk and reception from 5-7 p.m. Visit for more details.

Bardo Arts Center Performance Hall 

Featured Fall Events 

Bardo Arts Center will produce and present two live presentations this fall, along with three film experiences. The first live presentation will be on Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m. with ETHEL, acclaimed string quartet, performing with Native American musician and three-time Grammy Award winner Robert Mirabal, a Taos Pueblo flutist. Their collaborative performance, titled “The River,” immerses the audience in a flow of music, narrative, and ritual that evokes Native American traditions through contemporary musical artistry.

On Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 7:30 p.m., Bardo Arts Center presents New York Times best-selling author and celebrated NPR humorist David Sedaris. He will sign books before and after the stage event, which features live readings of new material along with a Q&A session. City Lights Bookstore in Sylva is the official book seller for the event and will provide a selection of David Sedaris books for sale, along with some books from other authors, suggested by David Sedaris himself.

Visit for more information about these two live presentations.

WCU School of Art and Design

Throughout the school year, artwork from WCU School of Art and Design students and faculty, can be seen on display in Gallery 130, a rotating exhibition space at Bardo Arts Center. Each November, WCU School of Art and Design students studying studio art and graphic design present work inside the WCU Fine Art Museum in the BFA Portfolio Exhibition and each April, Master of Fine Arts students present their work in the MFA Thesis Exhibition. In addition, the community is also invited to presentations from their Visiting Artist and Lecture Series, featuring artists from across the country.

WCU School of Stage and Screen Mainstage Season

Students in the School of Stage and Screen have the opportunity to participate in a diversity of productions, whether behind the scenes, on the script, behind the camera or on the stage. The 2019-2020 season begins with the world’s longest initial run of any play: the classic murder mystery, The Mousetrap, by Agatha Christie. Directed by Terry Martin, The Mousetrap will run from Sept. 26 to Sept. 29. Then in November, enjoy the first musical of the year, Urinetown.

WCU School of Music

The School of Music faculty and students perform 150-200 concerts and recitals each year on Western’s campus and on tours throughout the region. Some highlights from this fall include the Music Faculty Showcase on Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. and OcTUBAfest on Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m., both in Coulter Recital Hall. Then, on Oct. 8, have a chance to hear the University Chorus and Concert Choir perform at Bardo Arts Center. Also at Bardo Arts Center is the annual Sounds of the Season concert on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 3 p.m.

Friends of the Arts

Supporting the academic and artistic mission of the David Orr Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts, Friends of the Arts are donors who contribute to scholarships for talented students and sustain programming across all disciplines in the Belcher College. Friends of the Arts donors are listed on the organization’s website and in playbills, receive notification of fine and performing arts events, and are invited to special invitation-only arts experiences. Learn more at

The School of Art and Design, School of Stage and Screen, School of Music, and Bardo Arts Center, are all part of the David Orr Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts. For further details, tickets, and other information, please visit to find a comprehensive listing of events.