Anna Ursyn

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This creative project is an interdisciplinary exploration of identity through data driven fiber art using applied research methods. The purpose of the project is to explore female self-identification on the campus of the University of Northern Colorado (UNCO) in comparison to the overriding messages of identity and social position transmitted within the American educational system. This is achieved through the interview of 64 participants equally distributed between two distinct areas of academic life: the math and sciences departments in Ross Hall, and the Stryker Institute for Leadership Development. Each group of women has been asked the questions “who are you first?” and “who are you next?” down through seven levels of their identity. Participant’s responses have been color-coded and converted into quilt blocks, with the size of each color area determined by its location in the hierarchy of responses. These individual portraits of identity compose two quilts, grouped according to interview location, providing a visual cross section of the women at this university; the portrait of a group composed from individual portraits of the identities that occupy the same spaces. By presenting the creative project in a public forum, the collective portraits highlight commonalities between student groups, strengthening the foundation from which we drive forward the conversations of identity and social justice on our campus.

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