Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art



First Reader/Committee Chair

Brad Spence


Currently, I am exploring how American culture has formed our understanding of the reality of the concept of happily ever after. How did the pursuit of the American Dream evolve to be a hegemonic influence transforming America into a consumer society that exists only as advertising images of happiness?

The exhibition is a collection of approximately 9 paintings. The subject I am exploring is the American dream, as presented through suburbia and the belief in a consumer society to bring us happiness. My imagery is based on generations of stories given to us through fairytales, myths and religious icons.

My project is based on a collection of large scale paintings. These paintings are mixed media of oil paint, charcoal and oil pastels. This gives them texture and an illustrative quality. I work in a whimsical style using loose charcoal lines and lots of color. This adds an element of innocence to this view of paradise. It is an innocence that is not real. It doesn’t really exist. It merely hides the true reality. It creates a tension with the feeling of disconnected lines and the viewer is left with a sense of lost.