Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Painting and Printmaking

First Advisor

Hilary Wilder

Second Advisor

Noah Simblist

Third Advisor

Hope Ginsburg

Fourth Advisor

Alexander Zahore


Laying out a Space: Spectral Geographies, Fictions of the Soul, arises out of my artistic practice, and thoughts behind my current project and MFA exhibition, Spectral Geographies.

Linking the problem of the world ‘out there’ or external space, to inner experience through painting as both medium and practice, my work expresses what I call inner geographies, spaces where intimate immensities, folding inside and outside, find expression. I think of my paintings as beginning with this gesture of laying out a between-space where the intimacies of waking dreams and visions are opened by, and grow into, actual places, events, and geographies. In this sense they are real fictions; real because they make room for, and respond to a real otherness, unknown or excessive forces—spiritual, affective, historical, material, social.

Most of the paintings in my MFA exhibition, Spectral Geographies, were made working with red dirt from Oklahoma, where my family has generational roots, and are based on actual places familiar, yet distant to me. They also take up the mythology of the American west, and the “western” in various ways. Dyeing canvas and using earth as pigment allows me to work with shapes and textures already present that push against me and inform my images; the canvas becomes an inner geography—a meeting place of inside and outside.


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