hero image
Tom Ashcraft - Western Carolina University. Cullowhee, NC, US

Tom Ashcraft

Distinguished Professor of Visual Art | Western Carolina University


For more than 30 years, Tom Ashcraft has navigated his inquiry based practice, combining object making and community engagement.





loading image loading image





Tom Ashcraft is a Distinguished Professor of Art and MFA Director in the School of Art and Design at Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina. He also is an artist, designer, builder and founding member of the art collaborative Workingman Collective. For more than 30 years, Ashcraft has navigated his inquiry based practice in and out of the public realm combining object making and community engagement. He has collaborated with a wide range of people, from barbers to biologists, and exhibited and produced work in the U.S., Europe, Caribbean and Africa.

Tom is currently developing two commissioned artwork projects with a team of students from Western Carolina University School of Art and Design for the U.S. Embassy in Niamey Niger.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Collaborative, Community and Socially Engaged Art

Contemporary Art


Public Art

Education (3)

Indiana University Bloomington: MFA, Sculpture - Visual Arts 1982

University of South Florida: B.A., Sculpture - Printmaking - Visual Arts 1979

Miami Dade College: AA, Sculpture - Printmaking - Visual Arts 1976

Media Appearances (3)

Around Town: New podcast series highlights Asheville’s rich arts history

Mountain Xpress  online


“The artwork in this exhibition surveys a range of themes and creative approaches in contemporary art practice by current MFA graduate students at Western Carolina University,” says Tom Ashcraft, MFA director and distinguished professor of visual art.

view more

MFA students highlighted in Asheville airport's Student Artwork Showcase

WCU Stories  online


Each piece, carefully selected by Ashcraft, will be on display for thousands of travelers daily, providing a welcoming experience for those traveling to and from Western North Carolina.

view more

Ashcraft named Distinguished Professor of Visual Arts at WCU

The Sylva Herald  online


“My primary responsibility leading the MFA program will be to work with the administration, faculty and students in creating an interdisciplinary environment for high motivation, intellectual curiosity, independent thought, research and creative production. I believe this will help students prepare a framework for building and navigating a practice in the arts and sustain their contribution to a contemporary society,” Ashcraft said.

view more