Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


Intermedia & Photography

Committee Chair

Shoji Satake

Committee Co-Chair

Eve Faulkes

Committee Member

Alison Helm

Committee Member

Robert Moore


This MFA thesis addresses work completed and presented in a thesis exhibition at West Virginia University as well as significant influences and events that relate to process and concept. Con el Nopal en la Frente consists of several ceramic sculptures that reference elements of a landscape typical in southwest Texas. Using symbols and phrases that are common along the Texas-Mexico border, this thesis and supporting exhibition investigates contemporary expressions of xenophobia. During my years away from home, the presence of microaggressions and racist remarks, said both intentionally and unintentionally, was common. This was new to me. Often times, those saying these comments did not understand how and why such remarks are considered insulting or bigoted. The goal of this work is to offer the opportunity for viewers to contemplate how their remarks, no matter the intent, are pointed implications of foreignness.