BFA Thesis Exhibition

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Extract from the thesis: "It is not until we grow, and see the world we have built for ourselves crack from the pressure, that we begin to understand the extent to which our views have shaped what we allow ourselves to be. I grew up on a farm in a rural community in western New York; I grew up in a world of distances and vast open spaces, and I grew up small and meek in the midst of it. I grew up more, and as I entered the beginnings of adulthood, the world challenged my meekness and the idea of myself that I had preemptively built. The twentieth-century psychologist James Marcia called it 'foreclosure'; a premature commitment to an unquestioned identity. Developing an identity is a part of life. There are people who seem to stay the same forever; they are like solid rocks, unchanging, their dispositions unweathered by time. For most, however, the seemingly endless transition into adulthood is fraught with self-doubt, experimentation, questions, and wrong turns. As the larger world presses in on our smaller ones and shatters it, we are forced to question the what and the who of our existence. My work is an attempt to examine this harrowing process, to metaphorically express the anxieties inherent in the process of self-actualization. Recognizing ourselves as separate entities is a painful process, a kind of second birth that we must navigate ourselves through. This time, however, there are boundaries that we must be careful not to cross, cultural taboos that we must not transgress, expectations that we must attempt to fulfill or reject and accept the consequences. This time, there is a price for misstepping."
Thesis completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Alfred University Honors Program.
Honors thesis, Self-actualization