Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts - Art



First Advisor

Dr. William Nieberding

Second Advisor

Dr. Cala Coats

Third Advisor

Dr. Heather Olson-Beal

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jill Carrington


The effects of BRCA genetic mutations on artists and art educators had not been known. Autoethnography is a qualitative method for writing about personal experiences through a cultural lens. I used my personal experiences within a BRCA positive community to understand shared experiences among artists and art educators with this genetic mutation. This study aimed to explore the commonalities that are occurring within this subgroup. Anxiety and emotional stress played a role in most of the respondents‟ lives, affecting them in numerous ways. Most of the respondents underwent salpingectomy, oophorectomy, and mastectomy surgeries which led to further emotional and physical stressors. All respondents voiced that they were determined to take control over their lives, whether that was through surgeries or continued preventative testing. The arts can empower many with a BRCA genetic mutation to share their stories and let their voices be heard.

Keywords: autoethnography, BRCA, genetic mutation, artist, art educator, salpingectomy, oophorectomy, mastectomy, emotional, physical, empowerment, art.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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