Publication Date

Spring 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Heather Page, M.F.A.

Second Advisor

John Baungion, M.F.A.

Third Advisor

Javier Chavira, M.F.A.


Exploring traditional circus and contemporary circus has lead me to my current body of print work titled Le Nouveau Cirque simply meaning The New Circus. In my studio work I use printmaking to create my art. My focus on printmaking began with this body of artwork because of my interest making multiples of images and using old and new style processes of printmaking going hand in hand with my interest in old and new types of circuses. The connotation of creating multiples relates to old circus lithographs when artists would make many fliers and banners to advertise a show. In my work I portray aspects of traditional circus and contemporary circus because I find they always reference each other by various acts and characters, such as a circus clown. The images used in my art are all clown girl portraits or the girls performing a circus act. As my ideas evolved, I realized the inspiration of combining circus and female portraits in my work stemmed from my experience as a color guard performer. I chose to represent circus over color guard for my work because of the mystery of the overall imagery of old to new circus. Also, more modern indoor color guard is becoming very closely related to contemporary circus in the aspect of theatrical performance, character and dance so showing the ideas of contemporary circus is correlated. Being on a color guard team of predominantly girls, I always felt a sense of sisterhood and outlet, which became an important aspect to my work. I show the importance of being on a team and how success is only achieved through working together. By finding positive ways to live life, it becomes more important in the girls everyday life the more involved they become in an activity. Each girl is posed in a somewhat alluring manner showing her newfound confidence and playing with the perception of women and the importance of beauty in society. Beauty can be socially defined and what is accepted in each individual’s world but that definition can be broken based off of the individual’s personal idea. Exuding beauty and sexuality is not about perfection but rather showing a confidence about being content with one’s self both physically and emotionally. My work portrays female circus performers in a character driven approach by showing the strong nature of sisterhood, outlet and beauty.