Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work and Public Health

Major

Anthropology

First Advisor

Cheleen Mahar

Abstract

[From the introduction]

The lives of artists have fascinated scholars for centuries. Artists' unique style of creative expression is reflected in their psychological life and in their physical studios and spaces in which they work. Unlike many earlier artists, twenty-first-century artists often write narratives about their own experiences with the creative process (Tharp 2003: 15). This allows for a greater accumulation of literature on the creative process and artistic space. By constructing their lives around their work, professional artists create a unique relationship with the physical, which helps to sustain their inspiration. Needing to be aware of their own creative rhythm, artists' lifestyle perpetuates their productivity (Tharp 2003: 15).

This thesis investigates the physical and psychological environment in which art (painting, sculpture, glass, dance, etc.) is created and how particular spaces serve as catalysts for artists. Specifically, is there is a connection between physical spaces, which artists construct to promote their own creative inspiration, and the social spaces of artistic production in relationship to a community of shared thoughts and ideas? My research will act as a small case study, which asks a larger ethnographic question: how can we account for the genesis of artistic production in our society today?

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