Term of Award

Spring 2019

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

Jason Hoelscher

Committee Member 1

Patricia Carter

Committee Member 2

Robert Farber


What is a viewer? Who can be a viewer? What is the purpose of a viewer? Is viewing an artwork a process? How does a viewer interact with an artwork? What is an artist? Are the formal elements or conceptual natures more important in art making? Why is that art? These questions and more direct me in how and why I make my art.

I will be discussing the relationship between the viewer and the artwork in an artwork experience. I will define an artwork experience using an analysis of Michael Fried’s notion of theatricality, relating the viewer to the artwork in an artwork setting, such as a gallery. In my opinion, the viewer is the ultimate decider of an artwork’s art-ness; how we define an artwork is solely based on if and how the viewer understands/ interacts with the artwork. In this thesis, I will be discussing the artwork experience and come to an understanding of how a viewer may interact within that experience.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material