Art Department

2009 Senior Theses

Blake Mason

Friday Day


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This thesis is a story told in five parts. First an explication of the definition of the art viewer as a receptor for a work of art’s meaning. If the viewer is a receiver then the transmitter responsible for a work’s meaning must be found in either the art, the artist behind it, or the viewer in front of it.

Next is an analysis of the role of artistic intentionality and its relationship to elements internal to the work (the so called visual series) in formulating meaning. Concluding that the artist and the artwork’s contributions to meaning are subordinate to the viewer’s perceptual experience, it goes on to consider the elements of this experience external to the work of art and their effect on the viewer.

In examining these elements (the so called contextual series), envision a network of forces deemed the Institution of Art that dictates how the viewer comes to consider an object as a work of art, and formulate an interpretation from it. The question becomes what composes this Institution, and where is it situated? The viewer houses a personal Institution of Art and it is this personal outlook that, ultimately, defines an object as an art object, and may imbue meaning upon it.

Given this individualized viewer, the next section investigates the current state of image and information processing in a climate saturated with media, and the viewer’s situation in it. It then presents characteristics of a work that encourages the viewer to recognize their role in defining an object as a work of art and their control over the formulation of its meaning.

The final part of the story is the story itself: Friday Day. Friday Day is a fifty-four minute long movie that embodies these strategies. Inspiring the viewer to understand their power through self-reflection and analysis prompted by an absorption into the drama, narrative distancing, and its mass distribution and disregard for its form of presentation.

Lily Hirdler

Threads of Recollection: a self portrait in fibers and fabric


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This thesis is a study on the connections between clothing and the human body. It begins with an investigation into philosophic theory on the link between identity and situational memory and seeks to establish that clothing can become a receptacle for though and remembrance, thereby forming a metaphorical construction of being. The first chapter examines the definition of identity and how a person’s environment and sensory framework can contribute to such and understanding; garments as an intermediary layer between self and other is also explored. The second chapter is concerned with how garments hold memory and are bonded to one’s life experiences, which as a result imbues them with the sum and substance of the wearer itself. Finally, the third chapter is a consideration of what it means to create clothing and embrace craft, which as a result intensifies the process of memory attachment and unites the piece wholly with the maker and wearer of the garment. The written portion of this thesis is accompanied by a set of creative work entitled Threads of Recollection, a series of garments composing a narrative self portrait, which endeavors to replicate the construction of identity through the medium of fibers and fabric.

Mariel Torres

Eternal Youth and the Fear of Finishing


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The creative portion of this thesis includes two paintings, a set of photographs, and four sculptures. Although the project consists of works in a wide range of mediums, each piece represents some aspect of eternal youth. Within the written portion the art is described in context of an exploration of the threat and appeal of immortality, free of aging.

Monica Johnson



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My thesis is about representing thought through drawing and painting. It consists of a number of drawings and paintings displayed over four walls. I combine representational and abstract forms in order to explore the relationship between a figure and her world. I am particularly interested in how hands function as extensions of the eyes and the activities of the mind.

Naomi Zeichner

All Sisters Will Be Makers Now: Corita Kent and Art for Question-Posing and Celebration


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Sister Corita Kent lived, studied, and taught in the Immaculate Heart Community in northern Los Angeles during the 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. In 1968, she retired form her position as the chair of the Immaculate Heart College Art Department and left California.

Kent regarded art making as an opportunity to explore instability and possibility in her environment, and reinvigorate her view of the familiar. She believed that artists should try to praise and purposefully enmesh themselves in the living-world. By making independent and collaborative art works, giving assignments, organizing celebrations, writing books and designing products, Kent showed her love and care for the world, and tried to incite other people to become aware of their potential for social responsibility and mirth.

This paper discusses my exploration, in research and studio practice, of the historical position and value of Corita Kent’s art-making life, and the qualities of art makers who might be placed in her lineage. In the course of this project, I pursued studio project that I felt presented me with opportunities to contemplate the art, teaching strategies, and human values endorsed by Kent. Hoping for my studio efforts to engage uncertainty and collaboration, and demonstrate courage and flexibility, I painted, taught students, planned ceremonies, took photos, and produced audio recordings. I presented some of these exercises in an exhibition, the resonance of which this paper considers and hypothesizes.

Linnane O'Connor

Rituals of temporality : medieval books of hours and the modern telematic experience

Stephanie Gervais

Apotheosis, Reward, Triumph: A Journey in Possibility


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The series of performances discussed herein explore possibility and power in the world through simulating the narrative of the journey of the mythological hero. These moments of performance are instances in which the performer can assume the identity of a new type by embodying a costume designed specifically for him. These performances are also physical encounters between myself and an actor, defined by love, gifting, and the aesthetic consolidation of the person. Each of the costumes produced within this work is a portrait of the person who is wearing it, designed to distill and amplify the mysterious and unique energy of the person who I am working with, then acting as a trigger to experience within unique moments of performance. These performances are then documented by a series of photographs and videos.