Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Connections are valuable in everyday life. Bloodlines speaks about my personal connections to my biological, adoptive, and found families, along with my heritage and what it means to be a contemporary Indigenous artist. I am not much of a sentimental person when it comes to physical objects, but I collect memories of the people closest to me. Through the process of collecting memories, I am creating a mental Rolodex of experience, people, things, and events from my life. When building my pieces, I braid these memories into the clay as I coil the form to completion. Embedding them into the clay, strengthens and solidifies these memories into reality, making them less likely to be forgotten. To me, my families are everything. From a young age, my bloodlines played a crucial role in my development as a human being. I was surrounded by people who either held me up or pulled me down. I was constantly conflicted with myself, and that helped me grow into my own person. I learned how to be unapologetic and just be me. It was through these interactions that I began to shape who I would later become. Growing up on a Cherokee Nation reservation, I was enveloped in Indigenous culture, but lost touch with that side of myself when I moved away. Recently, I found a deeper connection to my heritage and feel confident speaking to the importance of being an Indigenous artist. Using the same materials and techniques my people used before me, I am creating a contemporary body of work that represents me, my life, and personal experiences.


Linda Ganstrom

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type



© The Author(s)


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