Term of Award

Fall 1997

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Fine Arts

Committee Chair

Thomas P. Steadman

Committee Member 1

Jane Rhoades Hudak

Committee Member 2

Richard Tichich


Arboreal Alphabet is a body of work comprised of a number of individual tree-like sculptures that form an intimate forest. As an installation, the eleven arboreal forms, primarily constructed out of poplar bark, appear to interact with each other in a quiet ceremonial dialogue. Each of the tree images is formally composed and often imbued with narrative commentary. These narratives are abbreviated allegories that depict the tree as the sometime unwitting accomplice in the activities of others. The viewer is provided with bits of visual information which convey my awe, appreciation, and concern for the plight of a living symbol that is vital to the existence of many creatures.

The primary mission accomplished in the works created for this thesis exhibition was to increase the modest object-size scale of my work to a size more comparable with that of a human adult. By enlarging the scale of the work, I was able to utilize the material's origin as the subject of my images. This provided me with a lexicon of new imagery to express some of the old ideas for which I continue to have a passion. I also wanted to create one of a kind pieces with individual statements and formal problems to solve that could function both independently and as a unit. The focus of this thesis support document is to chronicle the evolution of the technical and aesthetic processes that were required to produce this culminating body of work. Included in the paper will be information regarding the following: my biographical and educational background; an examination of the historical, multi-cultural and contemporary influences on my work; the use of materials and techniques along with the formal application of the elements; also provided will be personal interpretations of the aesthetic and subjective content present in each piece.

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