Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Lenard Brown

Second Advisor

Richard Hyslin

Third Advisor

Philip Field


This exhibition paper presents the linkage of apparently unrelated topic and content. This arduous task is accomplished through an exploration of opposites and an overall presentation in the form of family fun or domestic distress disguised within personal world and the overall umbrella of homonyms: Claus (as in Santa) and Claws (as in cat). The work presented is a view of Leonardland, an intensely personal vision of my family and our history melded into a proposed future as seen through a wild conglomeration of seemingly dissimilar visions comprising the eclectic cultural mix that is our life on this geographic and cultural border. The nature of the artwork itself is described as narrative and contemplative. The text first provides an introduction, which sheds light on my artistic intentions, an artist statement follows, composed of philosophy and intent propelling the artwork. A rationale for Leonardland is established through the creation and explanation of an alter ego: Leonardclaus. The text then becomes interactive with a large-scale riddle in the form of an algebra exam of sorts, a remnant from my prior (and who know maybe future) career and a body that is broken into the examination of the Leonardclaus psyche and its development coupled with the integration and multiplication of a feline family. My primary objective in this paper is to attempt to connect the vast and far-flung forces of family life, from economics to ergonomics, to the vast and disparate imagery that made up my world through the Claus/Claws body of work. In addition the establishment of present historical precedence, present future possibility is undertaken, as well as a presentation of any personally unique technical wrinkles.


Copyright 2003 Chris Leonard. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American