Heather Small

Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)




Owen F. Smith

Second Committee Member

Nate Aldrich

Third Committee Member

Sunny Hughes


This thesis paper discusses the theory and motivation behind The Advertising's Red Light, my thesis project. Section 1 describes my personal methods for producing artwork that creates cultural commentary. The history of the usage of sex in advertising is described and explains how advertising today has become pornographied. Section 2 discusses the conception of Advertising's Red Light as an artwork. The piece was developed as a method of creating cultural commentary about the world of advertising today and its implementation of pornography. My aim is to bring to the viewer's attention just how close today's advertising is to genuine pornography so that he or she will have a greater awareness going forward when viewing popular media. Media literacy programs have shown greater awareness results from educating women about sexualized advertising. If more of the populace gains a conscious awareness about the pornographic state that media and advertising has taken on, then the less cultural dopism (consumers susceptible to and manipulated by advertising) can win out. If awareness becomes so broadened in adults that I can impress upon them how important awareness and understanding is, then hopefully a movement for a more media literate society can begin.