Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Interdisciplinary Studies


Interdisciplinary Studies

First Advisor

Sara Clark


In 1989 while our severely ill son lay in our arms my husband and I asked the surgeon what he would do if he were in our shoes. “Play the hand you’re dealt.” he replied. It was not this doctor’s only reference to the gamble life holds for each of us. Based on his advice to us I began to investigate the role that fate and predetermination play in our lives and consequently how much control we have on the outcome of life’s events. A cathartic family portrait piece laid the groundwork for a series of metaphorical portraits as I began to investigate identity. The continued use of identity as my thematic approach has allowed me to record emotional waypoints and personal change throughout my life and to additionally pose questions about what constitutes a portrait. At times this approach thankfully led me to use my art as a visual vessel, a container in which to place my emotional burdens lightening the load while I continued on in my daily life


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2011