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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

Formal Concerns in Conceptual Sculpture

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".
Date: May 2001
Creator: Stromberg, Matthew Gray

From Inside the Home: A Portrait of Mexican Immigrant Women

Description: For the past two years my artwork has focused on the cultural issues of a Mexican immigrant community in Fort Worth, Texas. The primary focus has been women and the way in which their homes reflect their blending of two cultures. The occupants of the homes are people that I know personally, including my immediate and extended family as well as friends of my family. Undocumented women usually have the most difficulty in adjusting. Although some do work outside of the home, many of these women spend countless hours inside due to their inability to speak English or drive. These women have little hope of returning to their homeland because their children are being raised in the United States. In order to feel more at home, the women make every effort to re-create the Mexican culture in their new houses. Thus, acculturation takes place with very little cultural loss. Instead of previous strategies of total assimilation, these women blend the two cultures, making it easier to adjust to their new lives.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Murillo, Guadalupe

Hard and Soft

Description: The purpose of this investigation is to explore the possibilities of manipulating clay in three distinct ways to effectively show that clay objects were at one time moist and pliable. The techniques used are faceting while wet, manipulating a variety of additions, applying different glazing techniques, and three separate firing methods. In addressing the problem, the following concerns were considered: (a) Which of the pieces made best expresses my aesthetic concerns? (b) Which firing method, oxidation, reduction or atmospheric, best illustrates these concerns? (c) Which glazing technique was most successful? In an attempt to explore and solve these problems, a series of twenty pieces were produced. A visual record of slides showing individual pieces were made to demonstrate the differences and similarities between firing methods.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Gray, J. Christensen

Hojas Volantes: José Guadalupe Posada, the Corrido, and the Mexican Revolution

Description: This thesis examines the imagery of Jose Guadalupe Posada in the context of the Mexican Revolution with particular reference to the corrido as a major manifestation of Mexican culture. Particular emphasis is given to three corridos: "La Cucaracha," "La Valentina," and "La Adelita." An investigation of Posada's background, style, and technique places him in the tradition of Mexican art. Using examples of works by Posada which illustrate Mexico's history, culture, and politics, this thesis puts Posada into the climate of the Porfiriato and Revolutionary Mexico. After a brief introduction to the corrido, a stylistic analysis of each image, research into the background of the song and subject matter, and comments on the music draw together the concepts of image, music, and text.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Mock, Melody

Iconographic Analysis of the Armadillo and Cosmic Imagery within Art Associated with the Armadillo World Headquarters, 1970 - 1980

Description: This thesis draws upon recent, art historical scholarship in iconography and semiotics to identify and analyze key images in an iconographic program associated with murals, paintings, and posters related to the Austin, Texas music venue, the Armadillo World Headquarters, 1970-1980. Resources include South Austin Museum of Popular Culture, the Center for American History at the University of Texas, Austin, personal communications, and publications concerning the artists, music and history of Austin and the Armadillo World Headquarters. There are five chapters as follows: Introduction, History of the Armadillo World Headquarters, Analysis of the Armadillo Mural and Freddie King Painting, Analysis of Posters for the Grand Opening and the Michael Murphey Cosmic Cowboy Concert, and Conclusion.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Richmond, Jennifer Lynn

Images of a Gendered Kingship: Visual Representations of Hatshepsut and Her Influence on Images of Nefertiti

Description: I investigate why gendered images of Hatshepsut influenced androgynous images of Nefertiti in New Kingdom Egypt and how Nefertiti and Akhenaten used their images in the promotion of their monotheistic religion; through a contextual, stylistic and feminist examination of the images. Hatshepsut cultivated images of herself to legitimize her rule in relation to canonical kings before her. Similarly, Nefertiti represented herself as a figure indiscernible from Akhenaten, creating an image of female co-rulership. Although the visual representations of both Hatshepsut and Nefertiti differ, the concepts behind each are analogous. They both manipulated androgyny to create images displaying powerful women equal in status to male Egyptian kings.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Hilliard, Kristina Marie

Images of women shopping in the art of Kenneth Hayes Miller and Reginald Marsh, ca 1920-1930.

Description: This thesis examines images of women shopping in the art of Kenneth Hayes Miller and Reginald Marsh during the 1920s and 1930s. New York City's Fourteenth Street served Kenneth Hayes Miller and Reginald Marsh, respectively, as a location generating the inspiration to study and visually represent its contemporaneity. Of particular interest to this thesis are relationships between developments in shopping and the images of women shopping in and around Fourteenth Street that populate the paintings of Miller and Marsh. Although, as Ellen Todd Wiley has shown, the emerging notion of the New Woman helped to shape female identity at this time, what remains unstudied are dimensions that geographically specific, historical developments in shopping contributed to the construction of female identity which, this thesis argues, Marsh and Miller related to, by locating in, the department store and bargain store.
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Date: August 2006
Creator: Blake, Amanda Beth

Imitating Nature

Description: Through my art I seek to communicate the continuing cycle of change that unites all life forms. I had to find methods of presentation and surface that would enhance my sculptural statements that I had begun to address. Utilizing salt, wood and low temperature sagger firing, resulted in softer, more natural appearing surfaces. These surfaces complimented and completed the organic forms with which I was working. The problems encountered in presentation were rectified by alternately contrasting the surfaces of the presentation with the surfaces of the pieces, while utilizing forms that echoed the natural forms of the pieces. The opposite approach also worked well, using natural presentation materials to create a sense of unity, and geometric bases for contrast. These methods resulted in an increased sense of energy, unity and completion in the work presented.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Holden, Linda K.