Herron School of Art and Design Theses

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    Identifying Curative Factors of Art Therapy Gallery Exhibition with Veterans: A Feminist Approach
    (2023) Neubaum, Brooke; Misluk, Eileen; Daugherty, Lauren
    Art therapy gallery exhibitions can address the mental health needs of veterans by empowering clients to share their experiences in art therapy settings on a public scale. This article uses qualitative methods to assess the benefits of an art therapy gallery exhibition with a group of female veteran participants. Post-exhibition interviews revealed themes of vulnerability, empowerment, connectedness, and validation. Publicly exhibiting artwork created in an art therapy setting proved to target clinical treatment needs often seen in veteran populations, including avoidance, disempowerment, self-stigmatizing beliefs, and isolation. The art therapy gallery exhibition also served as a social justice advocacy measure among a marginalized population.
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    Pieces from the heart of nature
    (2023) Niloofar, Alibakhshi; Holder, Dawn
    This paper discusses the establishment of a new connection between my internal and external world through breaking personal boundaries and transforming geometric forms in artwork. While my inner world is highly organized, my outer world appears disorderly. However, imperfection adds to the world's beauty, and the ultimate goal of this paper is to allow the audience to grasp this transformation and gain a new perspective on life through my artwork. The final form that I present remains faithful to the original forms while meeting the desired outcome of conveying the transformative power of breaking personal boundaries and embracing shortcomings in the external world. This experience brings both my audiences and me a new perspective on life. Using wood as a material in art can help bridge the gap between the internal and external worlds. The process of working with wood can be meditative and introspective, enabling the artist to connect with their inner self while creating a physical representation of their thoughts and emotions. Additionally, the idea of finding order and hope in apparent disorder can be reflected through using letters and wood as materials in art. The composition of the letters can come from an orderly mind, and by overlapping and lining up the letters, the idea is conveyed that there is still order and hope. Similarly, the natural patterns and variations in wood can represent order and beauty in the midst of chaos, making it a fitting material for art.
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    Childhood Unraveled
    (2023) Edgerly, Brianna; Setser, Meredith; Petranek, Stefan; Potter, William; Baldner, Karen
    Through the exploration of handmade paper with nostalgic imagery I have been transforming the fragments and sorrow of my memories into a cathartic experience shared between the artist and the viewer. I use Van Dyke brown printing to translate photographic imagery that reminds me of my childhood and create my version in the form of an abstracted illustration. This translation from photography to drawing allows for a personal reprocessing of the original memory. I print the illustrations onto handmade cotton paper that together create an aesthetically intriguing collection of objects. They are a physical record of how the artistic process has also been a healing one when it comes to my mental health. It also offers the spectator a moment to slow down and reflect on how they process their memories by witnessing how I have processed my own. As a result, my work creates a stronger empathetic understanding of how someone’s past can affect them in the present moment. The delicately intricate use of the material creates a curiosity in the spectator to further interact with the work. As they move in closer to inspect the work, tears, stains, and other imperfections litter both prints and cast forms alike. By allowing the natural processes of hand papermaking and analog printing to create these imperfections, I can embrace and redefine my own. Through paper making and analog printing, I can embrace my own imperfections, redefine them, and find beauty in them.
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    Defining and Promoting Therapeutically Beneficial Interior Design
    (2023) Aquila, Benjamin; Misluk, Eileen; McCullough, Shannon
    Shelter benefits mental well-being in a more accessible fashion compared to traditional mental health services in the United States. This benefit can be exaggerated by interior design decisions that reduce stress and provide positive emotional experiences. A review of available literature defines therapeutically beneficial interior design strategies. Relaying these strategies through social media provides an easily available community resource for individuals and organizations to reference when intending to change or create spaces that promote occupants’ mental well-being.
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    Self-Injurious Behaviors: Art Therapy Group for Recovery Maintenance in Adults with SIB
    (2023) Hodson, Kaylin; Misluk, Eileen; Hutton, Joel
    Art therapy treatment groups can be beneficial in addressing the gaps in the treatment of adults in the recovery of self-injurious behaviors (SIB). A literature review was used to explore the immense impact of SIB on adults and adolescents, with a focus on the long-term nature of SIB. This literature review resulted in an art therapy group proposal that addresses the specific needs of this population. This is the first known group proposal that specifically addresses the needs of adults with SIB during their recovery journey. The group is centered around building skills to maintain recovery from SIB.
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    A Journey
    (2023) Xiao, Julie; Lowell, Isaac; Farrow, Vance
    In an increasingly global and ever-changing world today, many individuals reflect upon the concept of multicultural identity. Much of my research explores the theme of identity and what that can mean. Various factors shape an individual’s sense of self, and they come from both internal and external forces. In my work I explore this concept by pulling from various inspirations and cultural influences. A Journey is a large-scale ink on paper scroll. The use of ink and the formatting of the paper was inspired by Chinese ink paintings, and the imagery depicted in the work is reflective of an exploratory journey. The reoccurring character in my work is significant in being representative of the feeling of displacement and being the "other". The character is not fully one thing, neither jellyfish nor human but a merger of the two, much like an individual with multiple cultural and societal ties. This work and the narrative explored touches upon many concepts and perspectives on the complexities of identity and the feeling of being tethered between societies.
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    Blind Lemon Fisherman: The Lost Masters
    (2023) Swanson, Joseph T.; Potter, William; Farrow, Vance; Furqueron, Reagan
    Blind Lemon Fisherman: The Lost Masters, is an abstract polyptych painting depicting the Whitewater Valley Gorge in Richmond, Indiana, throughout its geological and human history. The landscape tradition has been filtered through my foundational years of graffiti writing. This work uses gestural abstraction and graffiti derived mark-making and motifs to portray my own and imagined memories of the historic Starr Gennett site located in the Gorge during diverse moments in time, which relates to the work of the Richmond Group, to the studio work of Chris DAZE Ellis and SABER, and situates it within the framework of contemporary graffiti-informed studio artwork that Rafael Schacter refers to as, Intermural Art.
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    Connecting Points in the Void
    (2023) Rasure, Kara Beth; Robinson, Cory; Holder, Dawn; Furqueron, Reagan
    This research argues that optimistic Nihilism provides a unique perspective for exploring the concept of loss and the intrinsic relationship between loss and meaning. By examining various forms of loss and their impact on human experience, the research reveals that mystical meanings can be found in the most nihilistic spaces. Creativity and making serve as a function in coping with loss in the human condition.
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    Surveying Hospitalized Children to Create Stimulus Drawings for an Art Therapy Assessment
    (2023) Bolt, Elizabeth; Misluk, Eileen
    Art therapy assessments can be a way to identify the needs of children in the medical setting. A four- question mixed methods survey approach was administered to children in a hospital as a preliminary step in developing an art therapy assessment. There were 25 participants between the ages of 6 and 12. The survey results found that children in the medical setting prefer dogs, large cats, house cats, and small rodents as their favorite animals. They chose houses, farms, and water as the top environments for the animals chosen. They chose food and water as the top needs of the animals. The most selected material for this task would be a mechanical pencil. The results of this survey will be the framework for creating stimulus drawings for the art therapy assessment.
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    (2021-05) Leamon, Karri; Nordgulen, Eric; Robinson, Cory; Furqueron, Reagan
    The whale fall represents a devastating loss not only symbolically of my father, but also a colossal loss to the ecosystem of our great oceans. As the whale begins to sink it blocks out the sun entirely to the creatures beneath. The whale crashes and the sediment of the ocean floor rises up in an intense cloud, further blocking the sun and obscuring the view of the whale. At the precipice of the death, there is no hope of continuing life for the whale; but new life will form. Once the whale is fully settled on the floor, bioluminescent creatures begin to flock to the remains, something that seems nearly impossible in the dark desolate void of the ocean floor, eventually, bringing back the light and life to the whale.