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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: School of Visual Arts
 Degree Discipline: Sculpture
Abstract Moments of Art Found in the Ordinary

Abstract Moments of Art Found in the Ordinary

Date: December 2002
Creator: Kraft, Stuart
Description: This paper is an experiment using digital video to locate and identify the abstract in everyday life and nature. The abstract moment occurs when the image that is captured by video loses its connection with the original context, allowing the images to be viewed in an entirely new way. The abstract moment is initiated by a transformative instant, that instant in which perception is altered and the viewer sees the intended content of composition of light and sound. The project contains four digital videos that record the artist's progress and interests.
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Activating Space within the Object and the Site

Activating Space within the Object and the Site

Date: May 2001
Creator: Provence, Dana Noel
Description: I look at the world as a sculptor, examining physical constructs and implied meanings. My current research developed from my earlier studies of “containment” or, more specifically, “encapsulation,” creating visual, often physical, boundaries around selected content. Encapsulation confers a more active role than “containment”, a process rather than a result. This idea speaks to the issues of form, and asks the viewer to question the outside “shape of the form” in relation to the inside shape and content. My work focuses on exposed interior spaces and forms, allowing the viewer to enter the space physically as well as mentally and psychologically. Built in a large enough scale, the viewer could actually become the content. The sculpture’s interpretation revolves around the seen as well as the unseen. I built this duality into my work by using transparent and opaque materials. I also implemented small diameter stainless steel rod along with the transparent and opaque vinyl to reduce forms to their respective shapes and volumes. This approach allowed me to clean the “slate” of an object’s collective meaning and context, adapting it to the intent of my work.
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De-Emphasize Direct Presence

De-Emphasize Direct Presence

Date: August 2004
Creator: Chen, Xinpeng
Description: The following paper reveals some aspects of my thoughts about art. The works discussed are featured in my M.F.A. exhibition. All works are mainly based on the ideas of absence, self-reference and utilization in art practice, even though each piece approaches the subject from differing angles. My dissatisfaction with preconceived notions in the contemporary art, rooted in art history, has shifted my focus from concerns of the direct, physical presence of artworks to the indirect or indecisive elements of their context. From this position I have felt free to explore the paradox of self-reference that is involved in performance. In addition, by transferring art works to functional objects, I have found a way to infuse everyday life with my art, and vice-versa. The ambiguity of interpreting artworks with language means that I present this paper with photographic documentation of my artwork. Combined, this will give a clear indication of the thrust of my graduate studies and the current theatrical direction of my art.
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Exploration of Sculpture

Exploration of Sculpture

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Coldewey, Charles
Description: The images that I sculpt deal with reflections of human traits. Wood lends itself to this endeavor, offering minimal resistance to manipulation. Keeping the origin and qualities of the material while manipulating it into another object is a statement within itself. Letting the wood do what it does naturally keeps the viewer in touch with the fact it is still just an object of nature. Wood does not make itself any less real because of the relationship of the sculpture to it as wood.
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The Exploration of Surface and Texture on the Inside and Outside of My Sculpture

The Exploration of Surface and Texture on the Inside and Outside of My Sculpture

Date: December 2002
Creator: Holt, John
Description: After generating work for many years in an intuitive, “truth to materials” mindset my intent was to explore the interior possibilities of my sculptural forms and relate these if possible, to the exterior. Alongside this exploration of the interior I introduced surface texture and color onto both interior/exterior surfaces. In some cases the work had undergone a change, which lent new meaning and provided new relationships to exist between the interior/exterior of my sculpture. Not all of the work was satisfactory to me, though I feel there were many positive results from work that may not have been successful. I found that the integration of the interior/exterior dialogue into my existing work provided new meaning allowing new relationships within the work that had not existed previously.
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Exploration through Materials and the Transformation of the Commonplace

Exploration through Materials and the Transformation of the Commonplace

Date: May 2001
Creator: Sides, Luke
Description: The challenge of this project was to present subject matter in a way that did not seem common to the viewer. With this goal in mind, I aimed to switch the traditional roles of material and form in order to aesthetically elevate the commonplace. For my proposed project I combined traditional sculptural materials and processes with commonplace subject matter. I took a chance at the beginning of this project by making something that I had been joking about until I realized that this might be an interesting piece. From this point on I made a conscious effort to make whatever popped in my head. Although I am not a literary person, it seems that with this body of work I backed into what I might call "ironical metaphor."
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Formal Concerns in Conceptual Sculpture

Formal Concerns in Conceptual Sculpture

Date: May 2001
Creator: Stromberg, Matthew Gray
Description: The problem I choose dealt with a new material to use in conceptual art. Since the nature of my work deals with ribbed sculptural forms that explore conceptual abstractions of recorded observations, I investigated a new material called composites. A composite is defined as two or more materials that are combined to share the best qualities of both. Laminated foam core, nylon fabric weave, vinyl, and resin composites may introduce an aesthetic and structural advantage to traditional material such as wood and metal. Innovations in laminated composites and methods of joining unfamiliar materials could offer an advantage for these new sculptures. A series of six ribbed sculptural forms were constructed, which consist of laminated composite material relating to personal observations expressed in my journal in the last quarter of the year 2000. The material was introduced in the desire for a cohesive formal relationship between the concepts and the forms. Patron, 2001 Mixed Media, 19"x 8"x 4"; PDQ, 2001 Mixed Media, 10"x 8"x 2"; PDQ2, 2001 Mixed Media, 21"x27"x3"; Bishop, 2001 Mixed Media, 23"x11"x5"; Coaster, 2001 Mixed Media, 14"x12"x9" and Putsch, 2001 Mixed Media, 69"x48"x24".
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The Human Object: Explorations of the Figurative Toy

The Human Object: Explorations of the Figurative Toy

Date: December 1999
Creator: Blytas, Christina
Description: This Problem in Lieu of Thesis documents the thought processes that led to the completion of a series of five interactive sculptures. Each piece incorporates a part of the human body taken from its normal context and placed into the context of children's playground equipment.
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Loss of Innocence

Loss of Innocence

Date: May 2002
Creator: Smith, Jennifer J.
Description: Loss of Innocence uses sculpture, two-dimensional imagery, and text to explore the moment when children lose their innocence or realize their mortality. In the introduction, I explain that there are many factors, such as age and personality, which determine how children will deal with traumatic events in their lives and the duration of time that must pass before they move past the event. Often, children will combine childhood fantasy with random facts to create their own satisfactory explanation of what has happened. In my problem in lieu of thesis, I discuss work that I created with these thoughts in mind. I explore how the sculpture, two-dimensional imagery, and text work together to convey the emotion of innocence lost.
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Man-Bull

Man-Bull

Date: August 2001
Creator: Staples, James M.
Description: This thesis presents a body of work that acknowledges Rural American landscape and the importance of its conservation. This conservation is not restricted to recognizing the rural landscape as strictly a natural resource, rather, a spiritual place that fosters a positive side of humanity.
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Moving in a New Direction: An Exploration in Kinetics

Moving in a New Direction: An Exploration in Kinetics

Date: August 2004
Creator: Illy, Etienne
Description: Movement, whether conveyed through an actual motion or a gestured implication, remains an underlying theme in my creative process that started with my earliest works. I explored different aspects of kinetic sculpture, because I am seeking new ways to create motion such as experimenting with circulating air, wind, and the use of water features. I created a series consisting of three to five kinetic sculptures which do not rely on sound or direct viewer manipulation.
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Poetic Products

Poetic Products

Date: December 2003
Creator: Henry, Benny
Description: Not many artists have made a successful connection between art and text. In this installation of four works of art, I have given a new perspective on commerce by combining my poetry with common products. The content of my work is based on experiences I have had throughout my life. I believe that I have successfully combined my poems and art into cohesive works that break through the conventional understanding of products and their packaging.
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Preconceived Notions of Scale Relationships

Preconceived Notions of Scale Relationships

Date: December 2002
Creator: McClung, Jeffrey Bruce
Description: I proposed in my paper to use juxtaposition of unexpected scale in my sculpture, with the expectation that it would create an unexpected tension that is visually stimulating to the viewer. I achieved this by creating disharmony in scale between an object that is perceived as miniature and an object that is perceived as gigantic within each sculpture. I then asked three questions of these sculptures: Was I able to alter the viewer's preconceived notions of the miniature and the gigantic through the manipulation of the size relationship between two objects within each sculpture? Which of these preconceived notions of the miniature or the gigantic became dominant as the main focal point in each sculpture? Did this intentional use of disharmony in scale stimulate enough of my interest to continue investigating this idea? I wrote about three sculptures that had been made for this project. The first was Manifest Destiny, a seven and a half foot tall bronze piece depicting an oil drill with a platform in the shape of the state of Texas. On the platform a gigantic bronze figure rides a miniature bronze donkey across the platform. The second bronze sculpture I wrote about was Gulliver in Suburbia; ...
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Professional Widow

Professional Widow

Date: May 2004
Creator: McKinley, Katherine L.
Description: The focus of my graduate work was to figure my way through a variety of challenges and transitions I was going through as a graduate student and simply as a person finding my way through my education to discover who I am and who I want to become. Perhaps my themes didn't focus primarily on these events in a literal sense, but I think the transitions in my artwork have become obvious through my time spent at UNT and the variations on a theme I have dealt with. All of my work deals with love, attraction, repulsion and the consequences we deal with as human beings when we make choices according to whom we choose to have relations with. It became very important for me to deal with these issues in an effort to discover what my expectations of myself as an artist and a person are.
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Surfacing the Void

Surfacing the Void

Date: May 2002
Creator: Williamson, Melanie L.
Description: Surfacing the Void is an exploration of surface design in relationship to the topic of voids. For the purpose of this paper, two types of void were addressed: shelters and hulls. The theme behind the sculptural works dealt with negative spaces as an analogy for the voids in people's lives. The goal was to find a way for the surfaces to elicit an emotional response from the viewer that correlates to the impression of either shelter or hull. Keeping this in mind, each experiment was approached with how to best represent the meaning of void being manifested. Imagery was applied during different states of the clay: wet, dry, and fired. Methods of exploration included texturing, drawing, stenciling, stamping, incising, decoupage and covering the surfaces with textiles.
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Tangible Struggle

Tangible Struggle

Date: May 2003
Creator: Whelan, Shawn
Description: The focus of my graduate work was to find my own voice through my continued efforts in woodcarving. I proposed to produce six to eight wood carved sculptures for my thesis that would be dealing with a juxtaposition of struggle expressively portrayed by the figure between two-dimensional and three-dimensional worlds. I used these works to express my emotions about myself, and my interactions with others in a form of nonverbal communication with the viewer. The result of this process did lead me to find my own voice and with this voice I expressed three-dimensionally, not only my own struggles, but also those that many other women have experienced as well.
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The Unreadable Word

The Unreadable Word

Date: May 2004
Creator: McGehearty, Eric
Description: This autobiographical problem in lieu of thesis explores the subject matter of the sculpture, revolving around the issues of dyslexia and literacy, and builds upon the idea of metaphor and its function in relationship to the sculpture. The four visual and conceptual elements that are emphasized are: (a) the juxtaposition and arrangement of elements and materials; (b) inability to open the books; (c) alteration of the text to make the words illegible, by creating words that are fuzzy or transparent; and (d) repetition and scale. Also discussed are ideas of post modern criticism with an emphasis on semiotics and writing of Derada in relationship to his contemporary analysis of his sculpture.
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