Date of Award

Spring 5-2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education & Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Thomas A. Cordy, PhD

Second Advisor

Aram Aslanian, PhD

Third Advisor

Jean P. Delcourt, DML


This research proposal identifies those experiences that lead to the pursuit of visual art as sustained passion in life. In seeking the potential factors that contribute to an individual’s continued interest in visual art at key points in their physical maturity and educational lives, strategies for success could be developed for the benefit of those so disposed. This inquiry utilizes a qualitative methodology involving up to three consenting Advanced Placement high school seniors. Both male and female students over 18 years of age have the cognizance to think and guide creative action appropriately and recall past experience. Three carefully selected undergraduate and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) students of both genders have offered their perspectives and responses at an adult level. These students contributed information about visual artist emergence. In addition, perspectives relating to the perpetuation of on-going involvement within the field of visual art have been explored. Observations of the students within their creative environments and semi-structured interviews have drawn out reflections and life experiences that enabled proficiency within the wide variety of visual media at their disposal. The interviews have, in part, focused on selected pieces of artwork that hold personal meaning to each individual. Information accumulated from descriptive, structure, and contrast questions, has developed thick description, which has been coded and analyzed for commonly shared, as well as unique themes and experiences.