Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Richard Hyslin

Second Advisor

Lenard Brown

Third Advisor

Philip Field


Conversational phrases, dichos are verbal hallmarks from Mexican-Americans and familiar to the Hispanic culture through different versions. This folk wisdom is exposed through communication, tracing historical accounts of life, love, struggle, and ultimately survival among Mexican-Americans. I have started a series of paintings and collective art pieces focusing on Mexican-American dichos unique and familiar to the Rio Grande Valley. They are a cultural representation of life unique to this area, and combine the recollective spirit from not only myself, but from my family's accounts of these spontaneous conversational phrases.

With influences stemming from the Pop Art period, specifically Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, I have found a comparable reference to cultural mores and confrontational sarcasm. This connection allows me to construct images and use iconography while exploring abstraction and representation through the use of literal Mexican-American conversational phrases, or dichos. My artistic expression is my vehicle for change, as I strive to document positive contributions by Mexican-Americans and preserve these pieces of folk wisdom through my art. My creative process further explains how I organize and construct my work. The results provide communicative and cultural satire, verbally familiar to the Rio Grande Valley, personally translated through my Art.


Copyright 2001 Jennifer Michele Rodriguez. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American