Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Art

First Advisor

Kevin Turner, M.F.A.

Second Advisor

Irene Kabala, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

BA Harrington, M.F.A.

Abstract

The thesis exhibition, The Inside Passage, focused on an interpretation of the Southeast Alaskan landscape. The inspiration came from my Alaskan heritage; the Southeast Alaskan Tlingit. Expanding on childhood memories, The Inside Passage also spoke to the artistic, spiritual, and cultural traditions of the native people. Growing up in Alaska, my family was immersed in a forested, mountainous terrain along the Pacific Ocean. Because much of Alaska is only accessible by airplane or boat, The Inside Passage is one of the most important transportation routes in Alaska. Numerous channels that weave throughout the islands along the coast are important routes for cruise ships and freight. Additionally, the passage links Alaska with various other ports in Canada and Washington. In the exhibition, I creating a pathway that led viewers through the tree forms mimics the waterways that lead tourists and workers through Alaska. The miniaturized version of the waterway links viewers to Alaska just as the passage does. Stylized trees crafted from colored porcelain slip and cedar chips, along with black mulch and pebbles made up the bulk of the installation. Creating an installation, rather than individual sculptures, accurately evoked the vastness of the untracked forest that covers most of Alaska. This thesis will explore the study of process and installation art, along with the philosophies and traditions of the Tlingit people. Reflections on art works and writings from Blane De St. Croix, Richard Long, and Steven Hilton will support my artistic philosophies.

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