Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Studio Arts


Anne Clarke


Appalachia;Art;Craft;Ecology;Mycology;West Virginia


The works and thesis I present are in the spirit of reclaiming what it means to be a Hillbilly. Within this thesis I examine and demonstrate how decades of stereotypes play a role into how people and environments of Appalachia are devalued for the benefit of extractive industries. Showcasing that these industries are in direct opposition to the traditions of life in the area. Appalachia, being traditionally a land based economy and way of living, presents unique folkways demonstrated with worldviews that correlate life and land treatment. Crafts, folkways, and folk arts of the area highlight these views and history. My work seeks to continue to preserve and use these folkways while integrating scientific curiosity in the form of positioning the natural world and its inhabitants as collaborator and backdrop. Together we talk about what it is to live collaboratively and speak to the history of people and land entanglement.


Open Access



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