Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2020

Author's School

Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts

Author's Program


Degree Name

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)




“I am not asking for pity. I am telling you about my disability.” -Eli Clare

In the following Bachelor of Fine Arts thesis statement, you will not find someone overcoming their disability. You will not find a tale of inspiration. You will not find a cure for ableism. You simply will find an individual's experience of disability— my experience of disability.

My invisible disability puts the medical model and social model of disability in constant tension as I navigate everyday life living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and severe arthritis. Both models seek to find blame for disability, whether in searching for a medical cure for illness or putting blame on society at large for creating barriers. Instead of abiding by these limiting models, I cope with disability in my own way. I embrace the contradictory notion of having significant physical limitations while giving into the pressures of our capitalist society to physically produce. I make my own models through accepting my identity and embracing the human-like, huggability of soft sculpture. As a sculptor, I do not need to find blame through theoretical models of disability. Instead, I make literal models representing my lived experience. I turn my invisible, private experiences into visible, public ones.

Mentor/Primary Advisor

Michael Byron