Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)
Type of Culminating Activity
Master of Fine Arts, Visual Arts
Jonathan Sadler, M.F.A.
Stephanie Bacon, M.F.A.
Lily Lee, M.F.A.
My world has no separation between art, activism, and identity. As a neurodivergent individual, I experience life through hyperactive senses. It is an intense reality; however, it is the force that drives me to create, explore, discover and learn. My mind works like a kaleidoscope, always awash in colorful abstract images, each twist or turn reveals a new perspective. For my MFA visual art thesis, I used my neurodivergent brain as the foundation of my study. The concept formed in my mind first as blurry shapes and colors, and then came into focus as I began the process of gathering and testing materials. Eventually, I was able to replicate the images in my mind, converting them into actuality with yarns, fibers, plastics, latex, and light. The physical results of this process are six lopsided, vibrant, soft sculptures based on neurons. They hang suspended and interwoven, interacting with one another in the gallery space as an installation, similar to the way neural networks connect.
By sharing my divergent artistic perspective and backing up my narrative artwork with scientific data and medical research, I hope to dispel harmful myths and foster a better understanding of the challenges that neurodivergent individuals experience. I want my art to spark productive conversations about ways we can reform our educational and societal systems to be more inclusive and open to all people. Ultimately, I would love to see my work widen the way, so that anyone who follows the divergent path after me will encounter less resistance.
Matejcek, Anna, "Influence: Art, Activism, and Identity as Seen Through a Neurodivergent Lens" (2017). Boise State University Theses and Dissertations. 1271.