Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.F.A. in Art


Art and Art History

First Advisor

Philip Jackson

Second Advisor

Josh Brinlee

Third Advisor

Sheri Rieth

Relational Format



In our culture, a person's profession is often made evident by the apparel worn or the tools being used. On the surface, urban scenes may convey a gentle flow and constant motion, which are characteristics of an ordered society. Beneath the visible elements are relationships which may represent a vastly different perspective. The work of artists often outlives the artist just as the result of labor may outlive the laborer. Giza's great pyramids are ancient wonders that baffle modern engineers and scientists as to how they may have been built. Though the exact techniques used may not be known there is little doubt that human labor was central to the effort. My paintings represent my observations of working people at a transitional point in my own personal work history. Can I successfully transition into a new career? How and where will I fit in? The answers are yet to come but I believe pursuing the goal with a strong faith and a solid work ethic will ensure that I will arrive at the intended destination. My affinity for the working person is related to my personal and professional work history. I share comground with the city workers, the road crews, restaurant staff, and landscapers, shift workers at the manufacturing plant and anyone that ever worked an extra job or two just to make the ends meet. Often, there are unseen elements at work like the pressure in the earth's crust that converts coal to diamonds. The pressures of a working life have the capacity to change people over time. Working people seem to dissolve into their surroundings. It is as if the act of labor transforms them. Sometimes people get lost in their effort. Sometimes the creators are revealed in the art. Most times the product is all that remains of a working life.


Emphasis: Painting

Included in

Painting Commons



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