Term of Award

Fall 2010

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Art

Committee Chair

Christina Lemon

Committee Member 1

Marc Moulton

Committee Member 2

Tiffanie Townsend


Art is a form of expression. When used as a channel for emotional catharsis from trauma, it facilitates healing. Research has found that victims of childhood trauma often cannot find words to express their feelings, and are paralyzed and unable to move on with their lives after trauma. My research explores how creativity and metalsmithing have provided the tools necessary for me to construct my own method of expressing emotions, through visual representation. Repeatedly, I have made the same mistakes in life; and time and time again have worked to figure out not only why, but also how to repair the dysfunctional behaviors that led to these mistakes. My intent here, and in my work, has been to document how art has helped me along this journey towards healing. I will discuss how creating each piece of artwork has made it possible for me to face my fears and emotions directly, allowing me to overcome my personal obstacles and ultimately live a happier life. I will also discuss how trauma affects a person's ability to function and grow, and why it is helpful to engage in an empowered re-experiencing of the trauma in order to move forward.

Research Data and Supplementary Material