Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

First Advisor

Cathy Ann Gilham


The intent of this paper is to investigate the influence of the masterpiece upon young learners. I have examined the creative process and the variables that effect its use as a vehicle towards artistic development and refinement. The Literature review traces the creative process from early development, through the stages of becoming a producing artist. Factors that shape the way the creative process is approached were collected, focusing on motivations, detractors, and acculturation.

A series of six interviews with artists and teachers working in different mediums and at different age levels triangulate my research. Their voices address the inescapable influences of the masterpiece and provide valuable insight, as well as strategies for controlling and utilizing examples of artistic greatness.