"I May Not Know Where I am Going, But I Know Where I've Been": A Personal Narrative and Celebratory Journey of Life's Everchanging Uncertainties Through the Essentiality of Art



Mercedes Mercedes Franklin


Presentation: 3:00 p.m.-3:20 p.m., Kennedy Union 312



I see my identity as an artist as something instinctually interconnected to my personal life and to my existence as a whole; As such, the art that I produce is always, and has always been, a product of whatever I am experiencing in my life, serving as a sort of visual memoir that reflects whatever moment I may be in, in whatever form that ends up needing to take. Taking this into consideration, it would be impossible for me to explain my academic and artistic journey without a timeline of my personal life running parallel and I hope to share my journey through academics and invite you into my art practice through the framework of questions I ask myself when it comes to piecing my story together: “ Where Have You Been?”, “Where Are You Now?”, and “Where Are You Going?”. These questions have framed the backbone for how I’ve developed the structure of my narrative, and in turn, my art, into one consolidated cohesive thought and was also the idea behind some of my most recent work which I presented for our senior art show. These questions continue to be a vital instrument as I continue to work through understanding my time in college and what these past seven years have meant for me as an artist and how they have built me up through the act of tearing me down. I hope to share my journey and my life because it’s something that's become an essential for me, personally, as a way to understand, cope, learn, and grow from the unexpectancies of life and the challenges you can grow from through the practice of art. My goal is to inspire others because art has truly been all I've had to get through everything and it's something that has saved my life.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Capstone Project

Primary Advisor

Geno Anthony Luketic, Kyle E. Phelps, Verb F. Washington

Primary Advisor's Department

Art and Design


Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences