Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Picking Up the Pieces

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.F.A. in Art

First Advisor

Sheri Rieth

Second Advisor

Carlyle Wolfe

Third Advisor

Matt Long


Over time wooden and metal objects, such as utility poles, construction lumber, parts from cars, trucks, farm equipment, and heavy machinery, and even an old abandoned car, have become unserviceable and discarded. Lying useless until discovered by the creative explorer, they are reclaimed and become precious raw materials in an artistic project. This body of work is about our ability to pick up the pieces after a time of being at a low point in life. It is about being uplifted by a companion, memory, or idea to a better state of mind or place. The materials I choose for my sculptures reflect this low point and reference a cycle of renewal. One sculpture, Still Standing, made from an old barn door and metal I beam, suggests this idea of renewal by the joining of fragile material with a strong base, implying that the strength of one party will lift and support the weaker one. Action Man suggests man's resilience in overcoming life's obstacles, as depicted by the linear/circle design (knocked sideways but still standing.) The larger metal sculptures suggest strength and endurance. Metal, with its ability to survive over time, and the larger scale of Ol' Granddad, Workin' Man, and An Honest Tune enhance these ideas of strength and resilience. The grouping together of the simple upright sculptures suggests a bond similar to that found in a family. Imagine each member of a family supporting the others and uplifting each other in times of need. Although I am passionate about the art making process itself, the end result and what it says are of primary importance. My goal is to have my work seen as an expression of possibility, restoration and renewal.



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