Degree Name

MFA (Master of Fine Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Mira Gerard

Committee Members

Michael Anthony Fowler, Vanessa Mayoraz


The artist discusses his Master of Fine Arts exhibition titled, In a State of Becoming. The exhibition was on view at the Tipton Gallery in downtown Johnson City, TN from February 26 March 8, 2024. In a State of Becoming showcased three large scale paintings, five multimedia prints, two sculptural installations, and a video projection installation. Conley's thesis research and current artistic practice revolve around the interfaces, connections, and relationships of humans and animals. Conley explicitly uses language like "animal" to describe "non-human animals" in his work's context. The exhibited works focused primarily on how the artist and/or the viewer can enter the animal domain or even become the animal. Alongside these concepts, Conley utilizes various forms of media both 2D and 3D, to investigate human-animal experiences through the lens of animal objects, animal domains, and the embodied relationships between various beings in a shared location. In a State of Becoming, reframes the focus on human embodiment as empathetic connection with other animals. The shared embodied experience between both beings is heightened through animal dwellings, habitats, and remnants. Conley seeks to rediscover the hidden but present animality within humans.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.