Dawn Kushner

Cabell County


Visual Arts, BFA (Marshall University)


About Dawn Kushner

In the United States, nearly 19.4 million individuals face the dual challenges of substance use disorders and mental illness. Intertwined with my personal experiences, this stark reality forms the cornerstone of my interdisciplinary art practice.

Growing up in Charleston, WV, I witnessed a community marked by mental health and substance abuse struggles. These were not stories in passing; they were the lived experiences of caregivers, family friends, and siblings. Influenced by my upbringing, my creative process endeavors to encapsulate the essence of memory, the gravity of melancholy, and the shared experiences of the human condition.

By employing light and staging, I reveal and shield content from the viewer, imparting a sense of detachment yet an ‘all-too-familiar’ resonance.


Dawn Kushner is an interdisciplinary artist whose primary tool is photography. She creates work inspired by her experiences throughout her youth in Charleston, West Virginia, to encompass the trials and tribulations of the human condition. Her work has been shown locally throughout Charleston and Huntington, WV, including in Piercing Lights, Silent Shadows: Stories of Appalachian Identity, as well as displayed in various juried exhibitions and published in the 2022 issue of Et Cetera, Marshall University’s literary magazine. For her work, she has received merit awards, juror’s choice awards, and fellowships to continue expanding her creative exploration. Dawn graduated with her Visual Arts, BFA in December 2023 from Marshall University and will be a MFA candidate at Arizona State University starting Fall 2024.

[email protected]

Other Creative Skills

Visual Arts: Experimental (Includes conceptual, new media, new approaches)

Dawn Kushner's Work

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