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The Desires of Rebecca Horn: Alchemy and the Mechanics of Interpretation

Description: The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the use of alchemy within the work of Rebecca Horn, to elucidate its presence in her work, and to illuminate its purpose as a personal philosophy and as a creative tool. The use of alchemy within Horn's work occurs as a process of revelation and transformation. Alchemy is revealed as a spiritual philosophy and as an interpretative system through the changes that occur in Horn's oeuvre. Throughout Horn's career, alchemy has developed into an interpretive system, a type of spiritual and cosmic perspective, that allows the artist to study, access, and meld diverse realities (sacred and profane) and diverse social systems (religious and scientific) into a more holistic and spiritually infused reality for herself and society-at-large. The purpose of her work is to help reinvest contemporary life with a spiritual presence by offering a model and a means of bringing the sacred into the profane.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Dunlop, Douglas Donald

The Destruction of the Imagery of Saint Thomas Becket

Description: This thesis analyzes the destruction of imagery dedicated to Saint Thomas Becket in order to investigate the nature of sixteenth-century iconoclasm in Reformation England. In doing so, it also considers the veneration of images during the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Research involved examining medieval and sixteenth-century historical studies concerning Becket's life and cult, anti-Becket sentiment prior to the sixteenth century, and the political circumstances in England that led to the destruction of shrines and imagery. This study provides insight into the ways in which religious images could carry multifaceted, ideological significance that represented diversified ideas for varying social strata--royal, ecclesiastical and lay.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Cucuzzella, Jean Moore

Dialogue: An Exhibition of Ceramic Sculpture

Description: I want the viewers of my work to participate with me in a common experience. How I choose to communicate an experience in the work is intended to effect the viewer's level of understanding and participation. Toward this end, an exploration of nontraditional self-portraiture involving the viewer in a relationship with the artist will be used to maintain the visual dialogue imparted through the work. Utilization of recognizable symbols and icons within the work is meant to increase the clarity of my communication enhancing the viewer's involvement in the common experience. Color, as a concern will relate to the increased access and interest of the work to the viewer's experience and understanding.
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Date: May 2000
Creator: Freeland, Charles

Discipline-Based Art Education as the Structural Support of a Language-Arts Intervention Program: Documentation of Cognitive Changes in Certain Elementary-Age Students

Description: This study follows the progress of 11 elementary students who exhibited similar language-arts deficiencies and were treated with traditional and non-traditional language-arts remediation methods. Non-traditional methods were exclusively Discipline-Based Art Education (DBAE) lessons that required students to observe, talk about, and write about art images using a DBAE framework. Portfolios maintained by the students during one complete school year included writings and art production. Writings were marked using a color-coding system developed for the research project and designed to track growth in art cognition. Interviews for affective measure and the Test of Non-Verbal Intelligence, Edition II were administered as pre- and post-tests. Evidence indicated art understanding improved as cognition in language arts improved. Change in attitudes toward art and artists demonstrated a slight positive change. No significant difference was detected in non-verbal intelligence.
Date: December 1996
Creator: Stephens, Pamela Geiger

Discovering the Parameters of a Successful Piece: While Developing a Body of Work that Represents My Passion for Clay and My Enthusiasm for Life

Description: Chapter I describes the purpose of the project, which was to develop a body of work that exhibits all that I am at this point in time. The questions I presented to myself were the following: 1. A successful piece is defined by what parameters? 2. What visual qualities indicate my passion for clay and my enthusiasm for life? Chapter II lists and explains the five parameters of a successful piece, which are composition, firing, mark making, color contrast, and movement. Furthermore there is an explanation on how these parameters visually display my passion for clay and my enthusiasm for life. Chapter III is a summary concluding that by discovering my five parameters of a successful piece I now understand the elements that I am searching for in my work. My work will grow from this understanding as long as I have the same passion for clay and enthusiasm for life.
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Date: December 2002
Creator: Lichman, Brenda C.

Distant Proximity: Mapping Presence and Absence

Description: Chapter I presents my background as an artist born and raised in Romania, and describes my artwork in connection with my interests and experiences. Maps and traditional Romanian art are important sources of influence. The questions in the statement of problem deal with the way ideas, references to various elements, and installation impact the artwork. Chapter II discusses the installation at the Dallas Visual Art Center, the creative process, and how the artwork addressed the questions in the statement of problem. Important points are: a step into three-dimensionality with the tall, freestanding pieces painted on both sides, the use of topographical contours in creating shapes, issues of form and content as expressed in the painted surfaces, and the interaction of the individual works in the installation.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Mitroi, Tudor

"Documenting" East Texas: Spirit of Place in the Photography of Keith Carter

Description: This thesis examines similarities in photographs made by the contemporary photographer Keith Carter and photographers active with the Farm Security Administration during the 1930s. Stylistically and in function, works by Carter and these photographers comment on social and cultural values of a region. This thesis demonstrates that many of Carter's black and white photographs continue, contribute to, and expand traditions in American documentary photography established in the 1930s. These traditions include the representation of a specific geographic place that evokes the spirit of a time and place, and the ability to communicate to a viewer certain social conditions and values related to such a place.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Lutz, Cullen Clark

The Effect of Constructivist Learning Environments on Student Learning in an Undergraduate Art Appreciation Course.

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of constructivist methods on student learning in an undergraduate art appreciation class. Three constructivist learning activities were designed and implemented in an undergraduate art appreciation course for non-art majors at Mississippi College. Through these constructivist learning activities, students were involved in their learning throughout the semester in realistic art roles in which they worked as curators, Web page designers, and artists. Six subjects were selected to participate in this case study. Subject data was collected through three methods: interviews with subjects at three points during the semester, student documents produced during the three activities, and a field journal of observations made during the activities. The multiple data sources were triangulated to reveal nine patterns of learning. The data evidence that constructivism results in a deeper understanding of art and art processes than in a typical art appreciation course in which learners are merely passive recipients of knowledge. This was not only indicated by the nine patterns of learning which emerged from the data, but also in the students' awareness and regulating of their cognitive processes. Although the research provided an in-depth understanding of this case and should not represent or be generalized to the entire population of art appreciation students, the results of this study suggest that art appreciation instructors have an opportunity to facilitate high levels of student thinking and encourage metacognitive skills through constructivist methods such as the ones used in this study.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Busbea, Stephanie Dickson

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

Enigmatic Realms

Description: The use of copper in my work has opened up an entirely new conceptual and esthetic world. I have expanded my vocabulary of visual imagery based on the nature of how copper reacts with fire. The organic beauty harmonizes so gracefully with the manufactured material. This new material has certainly opened up a refreshing platform on which to further develop my ideas.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Malik, Irum

Eplucher Les Oignons (Peeling the Onions)

Description: My creative intent is to connect with viewers at an emotional level. My chosen metaphor is “Peeling the Onion.” The implication of the metaphor is that understanding is achieved after one looks below the surface and views the underlying “layers.” The challenge is to find images that are personally interesting and also connect with the viewer. At times the creative process proceeds in linear manner and at other times it seems to take on a life of its own. During my search for a balance between the literal and ambiguous, I explored the circle, the spiral and the sphere. Printmaking offers unique opportunities to produce evocative imagery. Drawing is the basic tool I employ to define form and my use of printmaking processes allows for evolving the image over time. The immediacy and spontaneity of my drawings is combined with a methodical approach to image development. Exploring the spiral, sphere, circles and the metaphor “Peeling the Onion” has provided me a means of giving a form to my concepts and hopefully a connection with the viewer.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Wester, Judith C.

The Essence of an Image: Image as Memory

Description: Modernist painters such as Picasso, Ernst and Matisse were among others who incorporated what was then considered "primitive" art, mostly from Africa and Oceania, into their works. Prior to this, European artists had appropriated Greco-Roman themes and characters. These appropriated elements were consequently recreated without their cultural context and content, altered to reflect more current themes. In most cases, attention was directed toward the recreator, the author of the new work of art, not the creator of the artifact. In contrast, Post-Modern artists, including myself, have reproduced appropriated elements virtually unaltered as a way of denying authorship and emphasizing a more conceptual format. Appropriated imagery has been a tool for me in my work. Additionally, both figurative and abstract elements play significant roles since I consider juxtaposition of elements to be a strength. The challenge of fitting these elements together has enabled me to develop a style of painting that seems uniquely mine. The formal issues of style and content figure heavily in my endeavor to capture a moment in time; something lost forever except for its persistence in memory. These reflections are often imbued with personal icons, arcane text and symbolic drawing that weave in and out of the landscape. Endemic to my work are the following: (1) abrasion/erosion of surface areas of the canvas; (2) partial imagery broken or skewed; (3) appropriation of historic subject matter or archaic brand images; (4) symbolic drawing; ie. hats as containers or landscapes, ravens that infer vigilance; and (5) a palette of complex colors resulting from overpainting with other colors to the point of becoming almost undecipherable. Subject matter is based on my own personal history and life experiences as well as my reaction to current happenings.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Rainey, David N.

The Evolution of Form

Description: A craftsman’s work evolves with time, new forms arise and old forms become more refined. This research attempts to study the evolution of pots over a designated period of time. The key findings include that the approach to glazing was relatively unchanged by the evolution in the work. However,the refinements that occurred in the work allowed the glazes to impart wonderful characteristics to the forms on which they are used.
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Date: May 2000
Creator: Dotter, David D.

An Examination of American Sideshow Banners as Folk Art, ca. 1920-1960

Description: This thesis redresses the lack of scholarly attention paid to painted circus banners produced in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century by exploring the extent to which American folk art painting scholarship, methodologies, and objects can be used to articulate the meaning and significance of banner painting. This study expands the disciplinary treatment of banner painting by introducing domesticated art as a means of representing non-academic art produced in the U.S. The thesis also presents a model for exploring banner painting after identifying traditional American folk art painting methodologies, which fail to investigate banner painting style, format, and artistic training associated with banner work.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Weimer, Emery Christian

An Examination of Factors Contributing to Critical Thinking and Student Interest in an On-line College-level Art Criticism Course

Description: This qualitative case study research examined how constructivist problem-based learning facilitated higher level thinking, increased interest in art, and affected attitude toward on-line courses in an undergraduate philosophical aesthetics and interpretation of art criticism course. The research conducted for this study suggests that constructivist problem-based learning does facilitate higher level thinking and increases student interest in art and in on-line classes. Active learning assignments, along with the constructivist collaborative class atmosphere, encouraged students to think more deeply about their personal values concerning art and to consider alternative views. Problem-based learning in this class acted as a scaffold to aid in understanding the material and then in applying the material to unique and real-life situations. Each subject came to the course with certain thinking skills and left with increased knowledge about art but also with increased critical thinking skills for critically examining and discussing art. Participants completed the course with more confidence in their critical thinking ability and in dealing with visual art images. Data was gathered from seven study participants in the form of highly-structured interviews, an early and final critical writing analysis, a major problem assignment and its reflection journal, a beginning survey, and two final surveys. The final major problem involved an individual proposal followed by a collaborative group proposal. Group collaboration constituted the most frustration and problem within the constructivist design of the class. This research took a relativistic viewpoint in gathering data and interpreting meaning.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Beach, Glenell McKinnon

Experiencing the view.

Description: This article discusses the way people experience the landscape. Tracing the progress of landscape photography from the late nineteenth century to the present, the author introduces the way concepts in landscape photography have changed. The author's photographs are discussed regarding how they build on the foundation of this historical precedent. Using photographs of individuals at places they think are special, the author examines their perception of landscape. The positions and actions of the subjects shape the way their attitudes are conveyed. The concept of beauty is discussed as it relates to the appreciation of landscape. By discussing with the subjects why these places are special and photographing with the intent to convey what those reasons are, the author's photographs examine the relationship of people to the landscape.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Madsen, Michael J.

Exploration of Sculpture

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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Date: December 1999
Creator: Coldewey, Charles

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

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.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Holt, John

Exploration through Materials and the Transformation of the Commonplace

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."
Date: May 2001
Creator: Sides, Luke

Eye of the beholder: Children respond to beauty in art.

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine if beauty was important to elementary age children when exploring and making aesthetic judgements about works of art and to determine the criteria elementary students used in judging beauty in works of art. This study also explored beauty as a concept that could be used as an organizing idea for designing a thematic unit with the purpose of introducing elementary students to postmodern art and issues. One hundred and sixty first grade and fourth grade students looked at 20 pairs of art reproductions and picked the artwork they considered the most beautiful. The criteria elementary students use for determining beauty in artworks was found to be color, realism, subject matter and physical appearance of the subject of the work of art.
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Date: May 2002
Creator: Meli, Alisa A.

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

Fashion Circles

Description: Through this body of work and this paper the possibilities of using Fashion Design to express the concepts of the circle has been explored. This was done with three questions in mind: How can I use the shape of the circle as inspiration for fashion design? How can I express related words and phrases in my design? and How can I use the colors black and white to emphasize the concept of my design. To answer these questions I have created two groups of garments: one was inspired by circular objects, such as cherries and drops, and the other starting from words and phrases such as "study circle" and "circle the wagons." In the first group the emphasis was on the aesthetics of the garment while the second group was more focused on meaning. All garments are black and white.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Öhrn, Linda

Feminist Design Methodology: Considering the Case of Maria Kipp

Description: This thesis uses the work and career of the textile designer Maria Kipp to stage a prolegomena concerning how to write about a female designer active during the middle of the twentieth century. How can design historians incorporate new methodologies in the writing of design history? This thesis explores the current literature of feminist design history for solutions to the potential problems of the traditional biography and applies these to the work and career of Kipp. It generates questions concerning the application of methodologies, specifically looking at a biographical methodology and new methodologies proposed by feminist design historians. Feminist writers encourage scholarship on unknown designers, while also they call for a different kind of writing and methodology. The goal of this thesis is to examine how these new histories are written and in what ways they might inspire the writing of Kipp into design history.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Lawrence, Anne

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