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The purpose of this project was to inspire people to think about who they are and what they stand for. In a time of international animosity and political discord it is difficult to feel patriotic on any level. My classmates and I are of the era who saw the end of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools, and for us, true patriotism is not a common expression. We missed out on the support and unity after September 11 because of study abroad, and then came home to a country divided within and without due to conflict and international resentment. This may explain some of our own confusion, but what about the rest of the country? On this shrinking planet our identities are being defined now more by other cultures than any generation experienced before us. Who the Americans are as a culture is growing more obscure with each passing year. I chose to complete 8 large paintings representing images from Americana. I wanted the viewer to be able to connect on some level with each image, so I drew from scenes and ideas that are largely related to America as a unique culture. My purpose was to portray pleasant themes such as beauty, success, creativity and cooperation, while trying to avoid the stereotypic icons that would have lent a feeling of commercialism to the project. I did however choose to execute a flat, surreal style to emphasize the dream-like quality and pleasure derived from each subject. The mirrors are intended to reflect the viewer as they stand before each painting, and cause him or her to think briefly about where they figure into this "American Dream," and the role they themselves will play in the future of the United States.