Date of Award
M.F.A. in Art
Art and Art History
Virginia Rougon Chavis
I grew up on a farm in Northeast Kansas, under a big sky that had open views of the fields, pastures, and farmsteads. During that upbringing I learned about hard labor as well as work ethic, and what it took to survive in an often harsh and unforgiving environment. It is these experiences from my formative years, in that environment, where most of the driving force behind my artwork is derived. The work materializes as objects and narratives in sculptural manifestations. The themes range from domestic activities taught to me by the women in my life, to the hands-on, “dirty” farm chores learned from my father’s work ethic, intertwined with some childhood pastimes. The result becomes the creation of objects, collections and viewer experiences that reflect my early years in Kansas. Frequently these ideas overlap with gender specific narratives that humorously embellish on the truth. I use a variety of materials and processes including cast iron, fabric, found objects and installation to realize my concepts and generate curious contradictions within the work. This thesis exhibition seeks to give permanence to memory while providing viewers with the opportunity to relate moments from my life to theirs’. Throughout the exhibition, I hope to evoke a sense of nostalgia that creates a relationship with the viewer. Whether the viewer finds it through commonalities from their own childhood or feels a connection that causes them to long for a more familiar place, the viewer is invited to join me on a journey back home. After all, there is no place like home!
Rathert, Stacey Lynn, "There's No Place Like Home" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 584.