Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Dr. Richard Phillips

Second Advisor

Karen Sanders

Third Advisor

Dr. Aje-Ori Agbese


Transculturation as the key element in the search for autochthonous visual richness and profundity is the theme for my investigation. In the process, numerous questions arise for the need for authentic cultural expression but also ownership of cultural, social identities. I selected the Rio Grande Valley region having little knowledge of conflicts that surround this border and its territories. I also explored the social and cultural histories that included art making and architectural and graphic design. The transfer of cultural imprints, sometimes accepted but often rejected or unknown, forms the basis of this inquiry. My intent resides in a respect for this culture in general, and for retrieving the cultural values in visual terms that can be conserved and further explored in the field of object-oriented design. This formal investigation would include the appropriation of found artifacts from Texas to the Northern territories of Mexico, integrated in textiles as a means to broaden the collective audience for marketing these ancient forms to a widespread and functional network. Objects elaborated with the design referents of this region would provide content and identity in the marketplace, preserving the imperishable validity of these formal expressions in their appropriate cultural context. An appropriate design paradigm for this local region known as the Rio Grande Valley would demonstrate the ability to produce objects that would be immersed in a discourse with the harmony of this cultural entity characterized by the dynamic nature of its transculturation phenomena between distinct ethnic groups.


Copyright 2009 Mirla Gonzalez De Martinez. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American