Semester of Graduation



Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



Document Type



Veneer (noun): An attractive appearance that covers or disguises someone or something's true nature or feelings.

Vignette (noun): A small illustration or portrait photograph which fades into its background without a definite border.

This exhibition, Veneers and Vignettes: Staging the Mountain West embodies my pursuits to contextualize my place in the Mountain West, my home. These works seek to understand how the extents of time, circumstance, and people have shaped the contemporary cultures, environment, and implied trajectory of the decades ahead. What legacies have we imprinted upon this place and with what repercussions? I feel uneasy for my home in the West and the manner I am positioned within it.

With these composed and installed works, I synthesize my personal experiences, observations, and research through the lens of domestic spaces- vignettes. These illustrated spaces serve to contextualize the complex relationships of people, culture, and the landscape of this dynamic location. It is a region subject to a compulsive proclivity for aggressive commodification of land, resources, and heritages- mercilessly scavenged, packaged, and sold.

Conversely, this region has, and continues to be famously portrayed through a veneer of untouched, sublime geographies, wholesome communities, and theatrical narratives of rugged survival. Notions of a prior authenticity flattened into idyllic, superficial images to be branded and sold.

In my work, I frame these contrasting themes through conventional renderings of idealized vignettes as a vehicle to express sentiments of a home, from which I feel increasingly alienated from. Indirectly, these works also serve to question my role and responsibility within a landscape that is premised upon a history of occupation and development.



Committee Chair

Andy Shaw