Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2016

Author's School

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

Author Department/Program

Graduate School of Art

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art

Degree Type



Sentimentality is a critical aspect of human existence because it is human-natural, agendered, and provides ground for gentle conflation of the domestic sphere and the roles within it. As an artist, I am able to utilize sentimentality to open possibilities and welcome, instead of molest, viewers into contemplation with the assumed norms of domesticity.

With its origins founded in the Age of Enlightenment, sentimentality was a praiseworthy endeavor, one based on intelligence and contemplation. I define sentimentality as the emotional intellect’s way of encoding or decoding the soft emotions surrounding and within objects, people, times or ideas. Soft emotions are those emotions that when positive warm us and when negative nibble away at us. Because of its foundation in our innate emotional intelligence, sentimentality is a human-natural and agendered phenomenon.

I posit that sentimentality can be strategically used to induce gentle conflation between world-representations, especially those located within the domestic. Essentially, world- representations are bundles of facts that are true in some world, be it fictional or non-fictional. Because of their quietness, soft emotions are able to linger mysteriously around and between their source world-representations, blurring their distinctions.

Within my artistic practice I contemplate concepts of labor, love and the fine line between loneliness and solitude found within the domestic sphere by utilizing sentimentality as a tool of gentle conflation.


English (en)

Program Director

Patricia Olynyk

Program Director's Department

Graduate School of Art

Committee Member

Michael Byron

Committee Member

Michael Byron

Committee Member

Michael Byron

Committee Member

Andrea Stanislav

Committee Member

Cynthia Barounis

Artist's Statement

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