Art, Art History and Design, School of


Date of this Version



Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska

In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Fine Arts

Major: Art

Under the Supervision of Professor Keith Jacobshagen


I enjoy a combination of different things. Growing up full of humor and self-awareness, I always knew I would do something artistic. Art gave me creative freedom. Most of my time was used dreaming and imagining, about places, people, and things. Therefore, my roots in the northern Midwest culture and countryside are great inspiration for me. It is in this area of the country where the idea of art and craft are blurred, a place where nostalgic wildlife art shares the same wall with a Monet print and family photos. Unusual artistic conversation happens within that kind of environment, which occurs nowhere else. When working I think of a fusion of ideas, styles, and materials. Then I take these components and put them together to create something that is simultaneously humorous, serious, and new. I try to stay as truthful as I can to whatever I am working with, letting my instinct and my conscious blind. I try not to over-process too much but spend more time feeling things out. If something feels right I know it is right. It is about finding a good balance between things, and transforming the ordinary into something extraordinary. I am interested not only in materials, but also in creating a discourse between internal and external. Exploring these sophisticated ideas I use common, almost overlooked, materials commenting on the way people commercialize r everything, coating the world within a plastic veneer and selling it. This is man's everlasting struggle to control the uncontrollable activities of nature. To communicate complicated issues and feelings on life, nature, and society I use nature stereotypes. I use symbols that are then put together to build landscapes that are beautiful yet ironic. I choose the landscape format for multiple reasons. First, because a landscape painting is very specific in location, but at the same time it can be ambiguous. Second, the fact is that landscape or nature art has done very well becoming part of both high and low art factions throughout history. Lastly, I believe it is easier for viewers to place themselves within the setting of a landscape than within another genre of painting. Art needs to be appreciated and questioned at the same time. The viewer needs to become part of the situation for any art to "live." The art that I produce allows for more than one kind of viewer to become part of the discourse. I want the work to be versatile in a way that it can exist in both an academic setting and in a non-academic setting such as an art gallery or a craft fair.