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Colleen O'Donnell
Master of Art Education


My work is a celebration of the profound effect that one caring role model can have on a person’s path in life. By incorporating mixed media that metaphorically connects to the lives of my subjects, I have cultivated a healing dialogue for myself and my family. This artwork and dialogue have become a literal portal into their personal human experience. These materials act as the connecting thread between my life and theirs.


Through the symbols of tree rings, Queen Anne’s lace, and weathered hands, I have respectfully unlocked my family’s history. This artistic experience has opened up a multi-generational healing process. The universal human experience always has some level of pain or adversity. When past generations have not dealt with their adversity, pain festers and often is passed down to subsequent generations. This work has allowed me to explore the hopeful story of closing a chapter of trauma, and beginning a new narrative of love, respect, and the power of a caring relationship.  

What my time at KCAD meant to me

My time at KCAD has been an extremely rewarding and impactful experience. The Art Education Masters program allowed me to grow as an art educator and provided me with a wealth of knowledge and skills to take to my classroom, benefiting the future generation of artists. Before beginning this program, I had no idea how meaningful my thesis work would become. With the help of the amazing KCAD faculty, it proved to be a deeply personal body of work that I am so proud of. The professors and classmates I have met at KCAD have impacted me in so many positive ways and have become life-long friends. I couldn't have asked for a better experience here at Kendall! 

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