Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)




Owen F. Smith

Second Committee Member

Jon Ippolito

Third Committee Member

Leon Johnson


AXIS is a thesis investigating the connections between mental health and art. Utilizing a source narrative about isolation and depression, AXIS explores the concepts of clinical psychology through a variety of mediums. This paper outlines the inspirations, processes, and outputs of these explorations. Using Karen Stever's album, "Playground Isolator, AXIS transforms a piece of art used to battle depression and push it into larger scope of mental disorder. The first of these outputs is a hand-bound book using a literal method of interpretation; the second is a series of photographs taken by inspired diagnosis of the previous narratives, and finally culminating in an audio/visual installation. AXIS was created to take one person's story and posit it within a great field of research as well as create new pieces of art based on the original expressions of the album. Ranging theories from art therapy to variable media, this paper outlines the methods and outputs from origin to installation.