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Faith and politics: The socio-political discourses engaged by Mexican ex-voto paintings from the nineteenth-century and beyond.

Description: The Universalis Ecclesiae of 1508 authorized Spanish colonization of the Americas in return for the conversion of native populations to Christianity. From its inception therefore, the Mexican nation lived an alliance between Church and State. This alliance promoted the transfer of Castilian Catholicism to American shores. Catholic practices, specifically the ex-voto tradition, visualize this intermingling of religion and politics. The ex-voto is a devotional painting that expresses gratitude to a religious figure for his/her intervention in a moment of peril. It is commissioned by the devotee as a means of direct communication to the divine. This project analyzes 40 Mexican ex-votos for their reflection of political issues in Mexico. I assert that the Mexican ex-votos engage discussions of social politics. To support this argument, visualizations of socio-political discourses such as the Virgin of Guadalupe as a national religious symbol, police action and economic disparity were examined.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Hamman, Amy

The Flora and Fauna in Eighteenth-Century Colonial Mexican Casta Paintings

Description: The primary objective of this thesis is to identify patterns of appearance among the flora and fauna of selected eighteenth-century New Spanish casta paintings. The objectives of the thesis are to determine what types of flora and fauna are present within selected casta paintings, whether the flora and fauna's provenance is Spanish or Mexican and whether there are any potential associations of particular flora and fauna with the races being depicted in the same composition. I focus my flora and fauna research on three sets of casta paintings produced between 1750 and 1800: Miguel Cabrera's 1763 series, José Joaquín Magón's 1770 casta paintings, and Andrés de Islas' 1774 sequence. Although the paintings fall into the same genre and within a period of a little over a decade, they nevertheless offer different visions of New Spain's natural bounty and include objects designed to satisfy Europe's interest in the exotic.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Torres, Anita Jacinta

Opening the Door to Meaning-Making in Secondary Art History Instruction

Description: Each day countless numbers of high school students remain standing at the threshold of the door to meaningful learning in art history because of traditional authoritative instructional methods and content. With the keys of feminist pedagogy, interactive teaching methods, and the new art histories, the teacher can now unlock that door and lead students to personally relevant learning on the other side. A case study using both qualitative and quantitative research methods was conducted in a secondary art history classroom to examine the teacher's pedagogical choices and the degree to which they enable meaningful and relevant student learning. The analysis of multiple sources of data, including classroom observations, revealed statistically significant correlations between the teacher's instructional methods and the content, as well as their impact on student meaning-making.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Stroud, Elizabeth J.

Personal Passions and Carthusian Influences Evident in Rogier Van Der Weyden's Crucified Christ between the Virgin and Saint John and Diptych of the Crucifixion

Description: This thesis examines Rogier Van Der Weyden's two unique fifteenth century Crucifixions, The Crucified Christ Between the Virgin and Saint John and The Diptych of the Crucifixion, in light of Carthusian beliefs, practices and relevant devotional texts. The specific text used to support this examination is the Vita Christi by Ludolph of Saxony, which in part deals specifically with the Hours of the Passion. Ludolph's text is given visual form in Rogier's paintings and supports the assertion that Rogier and Ludolph were connected by a shared belief and worldview. Key aspects of Rogier's life, supported by original documentation- familial ties, associates, patrons, use of finances, and his close involvement with the Carthusians-- support this assertion. Other models of connections of belief, evidenced through artist's work, are corroborated in the work of Grunewald, Sluter and Durer.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Smith, Tamytha Cameron

Theory in Practice: Constructivism and the Technology of Instruction in an Authentic Project-based Computer Class

Description: While literature in areas of constructivism learning theory, use of computer technology in education, and the implementation of project-based learning in the classroom have received widespread attention, there is no reported research that specifically examines the effectiveness of using a project-based learning model for computer technology instruction for pre-service teachers' programs in general, and in art education in particular. Thus, the research problem was to examine through pre- and post-test control-group experimental research design whether two different teaching methods, constructivism teaching approach (project-based learning) and traditional (step-by-step) teaching approach, result in significant differences in learning computer usage, the application of computer technical skills, design projects, and attitudes toward using of technology. The research was conducted at University of North Texas during the fall semester of 2004. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to collect the data. The quantitative data, collected from a pre-post test and pre and post questionnaire, was analyzed using a t-test. No significant difference was found between the groups as it relates to computer usage, one aspect of the application of computer technical skills (Photoshop usage), and attitudes towards technology. There was, however, a statistical difference between the groups in the use of the other aspect of computer application technical skills (Illustrator). The qualitative data was collected from three sources, the final design project, the focus group interview, and the reflective papers and summarized quantitatively. A rubric was used to assess the final design project and the scores from the rubric were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test. A significant difference was found between the groups as it relates to the assessment of the final project design. The constructivist (project-based learning) group scored higher than the traditional (step-by-step) group. The analysis of the focus group interviews revealed more positive responses for the project-based learning group as ...
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Esmaiel, Yousef Esmaiel

Art Criticism and the Gendering of Lee Bontecou's Art, ca. 1959 - 1964

Description: This thesis identifies and analyzes gendering in the art writing devoted to Lee Bontecou's metal and canvas sculptures made from the 1959 - 1964. Through a careful reading of reviews and articles written about Bontecou's constructions, this thesis reconstructs the context of the art world in the United States at mid-century and investigates how cultural expectations regarding gender directed the reception of Bontecou's art, beginning in 1959 and continuing through mid-1960s. Incorporating a description of the contemporaneous cultural context with description of the constructions and an analysis of examples of primary writing, the thesis chronologically follows the evolution of a tendency in art writing to associate gender-specific motivation and interpretation to one recurring feature of Bontecou's works.
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Date: December 2005
Creator: Estrada-Berg, Victoria

Complementary Dualities: The Significance of East/West Architectural Difference in Paquimé

Description: This thesis provides the first formal and phenomenological analysis of the architecture in Paquimé, otherwise known as Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico. The eastern and western halves of the city are divided by a stone wall and reservoirs. The monuments on the east are rectilinear, puddled adobe structures used primarily for domestic and manufacturing purposes. The buildings on the west, on the other hand, are open earth mounds lined in stone for public displays. This thesis analyzes each building individually, the relationship of the structures to one another, and the entire layout of Paquimé in order to better understand Paquimian visual culture.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Hughes, Delain

Beads on a String: Extended Portraits

Description: When I was first introduced to photography, I was mainly drawn to landscape imagery. I enjoyed being a solitary spectator. Over time, inclusions of figurative elements became more and more apparent in my work. I purposefully began to incorporate a figure into my landscapes, ascribing to it a certain nostalgia and a sense of isolation I was experiencing on many levels at that time. Before long, I felt disconnected from these images because of their ambiguity and generalization. I found myself craving more content and personal commitment in my photography. At the end 2003, I started experimenting with a 4" x 5" format camera, which forced me, to some extent, to change my way of photographing and seeing. That is how the beginning of this new body of work was born. I was accustomed to shooting with a 35 mm camera, which allowed me to be spontaneous, quick and immediate. I permanently switched to a large format. I could see myself benefiting from this change. I lost some of the spontaneity that a 35 mm format offers but I gained the beauty of working with larger negatives and the endless possibilities of view camera movements. Thanks to this technical transformation, I began to develop new ideas. I tried to focus on what truly mattered to me, initially stripped from any necessary relationships among the images. I photographed pieces of time and space, filled with an emotional and psychological charge. More figurative elements kept reappearing and soon dominated my subject matter completely. My motives became utterly wrapped around human values and the differences that distinguish each of us from one another.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Kolčavová, Gabriela

Passionate transformation in vernicle images.

Description: This thesis will examine the iconography of late-thirteenth- through fifteenth-century images of St. Veronica's veil, also known as vernicles. In the late Middle Ages, vernicle iconography changed from iconic representations of Christ's face toward graphic imagery of Christ's suffering during his Passion. These passionate transformations, as I have called them, were affected by the Roman Sudarium relic, popular devotion to Christ's suffering and humanity during his Passion, and the Catholic ritual of Mass. This thesis will consider how the function of vernicle images during Mass was reflected in their iconography throughout Europe between 1250 and 1500.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Hoffman, J. Starr

Transplants

Description: The body of work originating from this Problem in Lieu of Thesis consists of paintings on canvas that incorporate representations of plant material. The impetus for the paintings was black and white photocopies created from mounds of plant material placed on a copy machine. The resulting copies contained forms that were organic in appearance, but unrecognizable as known objects. Parts of the most interesting and ambiguous copies were used to develop the imagery of the paintings. The new forms served the purpose of creating visual interest from unexpected images. Combined with traditional painting techniques, the selected forms produced paintings of mysterious and playful worlds similar to those parts of the environment not readily accessed, such as galactic space, microscopic organisms, and ocean depths.
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Date: December 2004
Creator: Holden, Susan Morrow

Critical Cultural Consciousness in the Classroom Through an Art-Centered Curricular Unit, "Respect and Homage."

Description: The purpose of this study was to describe the implementation, structure, content and outcome of an art-centered unit developed for 5th grade students. This unit was designed to be an example/model of specific tools and procedures that teachers can use in the art and general classroom to promote critical cultural consciousness, which is the ability to analyze both the covert and overt elements of a culture with the purpose of developing a holistic viewpoint that values the cultural heritages of self and others. The participants selected for this study were all the students in three 5th grade classes. The art-centered unit focused on three artists-Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett and Charles White-under the theme "Respect and Homage." The research methods used in this investigation were qualitative. This study was written in a style that described the research design with its origins, organization and implementation. The implementation of the curricular unit developed for this study took place in the art and general classroom. Of particular interest in this study was the framework and structure of the art-centered unit, designed around two specific strategies utilized to promote critical cultural consciousness. One strategy in this unit was the identification of art-related or art-centered micro-cultures as an organizing framework for promoting critical, aesthetic inquiry of the selected works of art. Another important curricular strategy examined in this study was the utilization of personal and cultural value orientations for their role in developing cultural consciousness and critical aesthetic inquiry into works of art. Value orientations are common general issues or questions that we as people and as cultures apply various ranking patterns. Evidence of students' development of critical aesthetic inquiry into the focused works of art was documented and discussed, along with evidence of students' expanded understanding of art and culture. That evidence, added to students' ...
Date: August 2004
Creator: Kuster, Deborah A.

Dallas as Region: Mark Lemmon's Gothic Revival Highland Park Presbyterian Church

Description: Informed by the methodology utilized in Peter Williams's Houses of God: Region, Religion, and Architecture in the United States (1997), the thesis examines Mark Lemmon's Gothic Revival design for the Highland Park Presbyterian Church (1941) with special attention to the denomination and social class of the congregation and the architectural style of the church. Beginning with the notion that Lemmon's church is more complex than an expression of the Southern cultural region defined by Williams, the thesis presents the opportunity to examine the church in the context of the unique cultural region of the city of Dallas. Church archival material supports the argument that the congregation deliberately sought to identify with both the forms and ideology of the late nineteenth-century Gothic Revival in the northeastern United States, a result of the influence of Dallas's cultural region.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Bagley, Julie Arens

De-Emphasize Direct Presence

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.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Chen, Xinpeng

The influence of a female high school art educator on the careers of her students.

Description: Through the use of a feminist methodology, this qualitative case study examines the influence a high school art teacher, Pauline Gawlik, had on the career path of a group of her students, a high percentage of whom are Mexican American and/or of low socioeconomic status. Interviews of the teacher and seven of her former students revealed five themes related to the teacher's practice that affected her students' choice to become art teachers themselves: a positive classroom climate, confidence and focus, mutual respect and admiration, care, and mentoring. The results of this study hold implications for the current teacher shortage and the recruitment of Mexican American students into careers in art education.
Date: August 2004
Creator: McKnight, Pamela

Moving in a New Direction: An Exploration in Kinetics

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.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Illy, Etienne

Nopalita: A Mythology of Cultural Self-Representation

Description: The first segment introduces the background information on the use of paños as art by prisoners and how I appropriate the same materials to create and record my own cultural mythology. The Statement of Problem and Questions are about how and what cultural information is chosen in creating a visual mythology. The second segment explains the invention of the mythology by describing why certain experiences were chosen, specifically those of the graduate school experience. Also the development of self-representation through self-portraits is described. The third segment explains the symbolism used in the imagery, such as the cacti as cultural indicator and palimpsest. The fourth segment is a conclusion involving the realization that feeling caught within a hybrid culture is an important part of my identity.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Medina, Cristina Blasa

Art or Craft?

Description: I chose to exhibit sculpture and classical style vessels together to encourage discussion about whether ceramics should be considered a fine art medium. I was interested in experimenting with different forms and textures in order to see which combination would captivate the viewing audience the longest. I found that massive textural sculptural forms held the attention of the viewer more so than did the classical smooth surfaced vessels.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Snelson, Jason

Colorful Diary

Description: Chapter I describes how my works are grounded in a Chinese point of view, based on sociological and anthropological approaches as defined in my work. The questions in my Statement of Problem deal with how I use "imbalance" in my works, yet still find a way to make acceptable compositions to better tell my stories. I relate how my work constitutes a positive act or event in an evolving world culture. Chapter II discusses the work I focused around the questions posed in Chapter I. Chapter III expresses my conclusion about my work and my goals for the future.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Wang, Nanfei

Crystalline Surface Challenge

Description: Ever since I became interested in the world of ceramics, crystalline glazes have been the most fascinating and challenging to me. Even though crystalline glazes are the most difficult and elusive to potters, their spectacular results (when done right) keep me coming back. Over the last year I have developed a crystalline glaze that yields consistent and excellent results. During this period, I have worked with these glazes in the traditional manor, being that they are only applied to smooth porcelain vessels. My proposal will be to attempt crystalline glazes on different surface textures.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Rostagno, Nicholas

Instigating a Necessary Epiphany in Visual Message-Making for Design Educators and Future Communication Designers

Description: Man has used graphic signs and symbols to express a variety of thoughts and feelings since before the invention of writing; they have helped him to preserve the ideologies that have enabled him to articulate his conception of the world. Every culture in every historical era has invested the objects, animals and plants around it with a multitude of different psychological meanings to communicate its essential belief systems and social aspirations. In my document, I chose to shed light on the responsibility I believe design educators must assume regarding their ability to understand and teach the importance of how similar graphic signs, symbols, ideograms and icons are perceived differently by different cultures in the hyper-connected, inter-global economy of 21st century. It is very crucial not to discount the influence and correlation of symbolic, fundamental building blocks of design with the basic psychological functions that inform our subconscious, and are also informed by our individual social and cultural upbringings. People from different cultures may cognate these shapes similarly, but they perceive and encode their meanings based on their particular social and cultural influences. One-size-fits-all communication design solutions rarely work, especially when they are distributed to culturally diverse audiences, because various ethnic audiences view the world and the visual messages that designers create for them through their own self-imposed cultural filters. These filters are informed by language, religion, politics and other shared experiences, and they go beyond what can be externally observed. As communication designers, we need to take the time to study and understand how these filters operate, so that we can accurately convey our clients' messages to the intended audiences so that they might be appropriately encoded and perceived.
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Date: May 2004
Creator: Sarkaria, Gagandeep

Key Components of a Comprehensive Visual Information System for College-Level Design Education Curriculum Analysis

Description: Electronic and computer technology have advanced and transformed graphic design. New technologies are forcing design educators to constantly monitor and update their programs, creating a need for a system to be adopted by college-level institutions to better investigate, evaluate and plan art and design curriculum. The author identifies metaphorical approaches to designing a two-part solution, which includes a Comprehensive Visual Information System (CVIS) and Three-Dimensional Virtual Database (3DVDb), which assign volumetric form to education components based on the form, structure and content of a discipline. Research and development of the conceptual design for the CVIS and 3DVDb are intended to aid in the development of an electronic media solution to be made accessible to students, faculty and administrators.
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Date: May 2004
Creator: Short, Scott Allen

Learning from each other - Building a bridge between two unique cultural approaches to design education.

Description: As China is opening its doors to the world and getting more involved in the global market, it is facing great challenges and competition with other countries and cultures. In order to make Chinese graphic design industry more competitive and help Chinese businesses and industries have better success in the global market, I believed Chinese college-level design educators and students should learn more from advanced American graphic design processes and marketing methods to achieve a better understanding of Western design culture and make communication more successful. At the same time, I believed American college-level graphic design educators and students should become aware of strengths and weaknesses that exist in their own design education and learn from Chinese formal tradition.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Huang, Ye

A Personal Expression

Description: The problem involves developing a method that leaves conventional form and form making and moves toward a spontaneous and intuitive approach. The thesis is organized into 3 chapters. The first chapter includes an introduction, statement of the problem and methodology. The second chapter describes the work in eight movements. The third chapter answers questions posed by the problem and includes a summary and conclusion. The findings are that a spontaneous, impulsive, and intuitive approach to the medium, clay, is a productive and artistic method. The medium is responsive and telling of the method and art is produced.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Veatch, Nancy Carole Steveson

Polymorphous

Description: The first section explores how far I could stretch dichotomy in formal terms, while maintaining a visually resonant image. I wanted to manipulate a superficial surface filtered through "natural forms" as seen in scientific imagery. By this I wanted to create access to a place where forms could play and imagination could wander. I was seeking to find a confluence in seemingly opposing forces that would coexist in the same work. The second section answers questions I had established for myself. The most important discovery I made was about the true nature of what I called a dichotomy in my work. The last section discusses the conclusions drawn from mounting the Master of Fine Arts Exhibition. I found that my interests resided more in investigating an already confluent dualism, as opposed to reconciling a conflicting dichotomy.
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Date: May 2004
Creator: Maxwell, Sarah