Date of Award

Fall 1998

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Garner, Ana C.

Second Advisor

Turner, Lynn H.

Third Advisor

Wolburg, Joyce

Abstract

The questions this thesis sought to answer are: How do artists perceive themselves as visual communicators? What impact does that perception have on the creation, exhibition and marketing of their work within a consumer culture? These questions arose from a problem that I identified as I read academic literature and spoke with others about the role of artists as visual communicators. The problem is that the academic literature in the areas of art, visual communication and sociology which discusses the role of artists in society does not contain studies that include the discourse of the artists themselves. It is important to learn what artists have to say because it helps us to understand the process of visual communication. The information they provide helps us to learn how the artists' conceptions about their place in society influences their visual messages. Applying the theories of symbolic interaction and the social construction of reality we understand that it is through the discourse of artists that we learn how they interpret the realities of life and translate that interpretation into their works.

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