Term of Award

Spring 2024

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

Elsie Howington

Committee Member 2

Chrstina Lemon


This body of work, Joy in the Focus, Focus on the Joy is an engendered unspoken symbolic language generated from the handwritten words of the English language that are defined or viewed with positive connotations. These symbols are meant to spread the feelings each word embodies with what resonates with the priori or memory of the audience. The symbolic language is a key for an individual to make their own connections with how the symbol’s meaning makes them feel,, resulting in an openly welcome invitation to reach a focused joy in connecting with the displayed feeling(s). My drive to create art is to focus on spreading positively and aesthetically. I apply hand mixed pigmented wood stains onto various wood surfaces to create a visually pleasing celebration, surrounded by copper leafing to create an auralike border, encasing each symbol in an abstractly surrealistic piece of the swirling lines of the symbol reminiscent of the art Nouveau era. Each symbol is created to facilitate an environment where the audience is able to ponder and connect with contemplative freedom, resonating with the positive symbol of their choosing. The end game of my body of work is to encourage the viewer to leave with the positive feeling within, and in turn create positive actions in the environments they interact with; creating a domino effect to their life and communities.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material


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