Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art
I am a Midwestern, Christian, and feminist artist. I make work about the beautiful, broken, and absurd ways in which American evangelical culture influences lives, especially women’s lives. I’m dragging everything into the light by deconstructing and critiquing the world in which I live, move, and have my being. I do this by harnessing prophetic imagination and incarnational space to shine a light on how patriarchy infects evangelical Christian theology and practice. Using prophetic imagination through photographic self-portraiture and text (my own and found texts using the Bible), I seek to make plain the effects of white, Christian patriarchy on people’s lives.
The journey of divesting oneself of Christian patriarchy is one full of rage, grief, and ultimately laced with hope. I do not do this work alone; my co-conspirators are Christian women who stand to challenge and encourage. We testify together, in photographs and texts, to anyone who is willing to hear our message. We do this through The Women’s Chapel, an incarnational space enacted through the sharing of testimony in this community of people who have been deeply hurt by evangelical spaces but who have not given up on the Divine despite that hurt. The Women’s Chapel shows up as both the experiences and stories shared in our group and in artifacts of that sharing. It is a gift of love for anyone who is willing to come and see.
Thesis Text Advisor
Thesis Text Advisor
Kenyon, Megan, "THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS" (2023). MFA in Visual Art. 14.
American Popular Culture Commons, Art Practice Commons, Biblical Studies Commons, Book and Paper Commons, Christian Denominations and Sects Commons, Christianity Commons, History of Christianity Commons, Interdisciplinary Arts and Media Commons, Liturgy and Worship Commons, Other American Studies Commons, Photography Commons, Practical Theology Commons, Women's Studies Commons
A Statement on Being a Thorn in the Flesh
It is difficult to deconstruct a house you still live in. What house is that you ask? For me, it’s the Evangelical church in America, and all the ways it’s infected the rest of the church and even American culture, like mold creeping up a wall.
Let’s keep difficult things difficult; being a practicing Christian, I choose to critique this Evangelical house I live in, lifting up seemingly benign theology to show the toxicity of patriarchy, nationalism, and fear that is eating into the structure of Christian life and practice. I am not into calling evil good and good evil.
So, I’m going to make it difficult, complex, thorny…and you won’t be able to look away. I’m dragging everything into the light; the history, the abuse, the racism, and most especially the way Evangelicalism pretends women are people while denying them any human dignity. I’m using photography, text, and intuition, to track the journey of divesting oneself of patriarchy, of reaching into the darkness and hauling things into the light. And I’m not doing it alone; working in community with others, I look communally at women’s experiences in church to encourage and challenge us all, Christian and Non, to reconsider how we treat women.
Deconstruction is difficult, it’s painful and uncomfortable, but in its wake comes hope. My work examines the beautiful, the broken, and the absurd ways in which women experience church, and imagines a future where patriarchy is no longer a part of Christian practice or anything else.