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 Shelley Fuller


Photography is a compelling process for exploring, editing, and clarifying. It acts as an increasingly fine sifter of experience. Life is vast 3-D motion full of colors, sounds, expectations, intensities, temperatures, textures, and so many constant sensations. Simplify. Squinting through the viewfinder, I frame visual segments and record their rectangular impressions in black and white. Light and the chemistry of the darkroom transform pieces of what had been in dynamic flow to pauses lying flat on paper. Time, color, and motion now suspended in the print are quiet to allow consideration and sometimes insight.

I leave the darkroom with another handful of 5x7" work prints. During the productive bursts, they accumulate randomly as messy stacks commandeering my studio. Order. I pin the prints in columns and rows on the walls by the hundreds. Though initially overwhelming and chaotic, I delight in this phase. I can visually access many images at one time. Like staring into one of those hidden in the design 3-D posters, suddenly, the image pops back into coherent forms that I perceive as meaningful. "Oh, now I see it." Similarly, this panning perspective allows me to make formal and content connections among images I might not have otherwise recognized.

Images can be organized and connected as words are in poetry to express ideas, memories, questions and conclusions. To do this, candidates are intuitively culled from the pool of work prints. Now enlarged to "11 x 14", selections are organized in grid around the central theme. Current groupings range from 16-36 prints. Created during my twenties, this intimate body of work explores the myths of who I could be, altering childhood expectations of what adulthood would mean. I became active in authoring my own narratives.

Photography is an effective tool for seeing. I experience satisfaction and sometimes even clarity when deVeloping these necessary fictions. Then, I return to the hopefully never-ending action of revision as perspective continues to evolve. I possess profound wonder for the process of sifting through the raw materials, challenging beliefs and discovering new ideas.