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Clarke Hall
Virginia Wesleyan College
1584 Wesleyan Drive
Norfolk , VA 23502
Phone: 757.455.3359
Fax: 757.233.8743


Mon. and Wed.
8:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
8:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Thurs. and Fri.
8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Student Research Projects

Capturing Suburban Angst

Student Katie Heilenday
Faculty Mentor(s) Mr. John Rudel
Department Art
Course ART 450: Studio Art Seminar


There is a natural discomfort that is part of society and human nature that is very evident, yet extremely hard to pinpoint. It is a feeling that one gets in certain situations, times and atmospheres. Sigmund Freud described it as the ‘uncanny’. The concept is that of an instance where something can be familiar, yet foreign at the same time. This results in a feeling of it being uncomfortably strange. When taken in context, this feeling can also be described as ‘suburban angst’.

Suburban angst is a concept that deals with the discomfort of society. There is a ‘sameness’ to the suburbs, but despite the rows of identical houses and carports, within each one are people with unique stories and individual lives. The suburbs envelop this along with some other idiosyncrasies of life. To portray this feeling of suburban angst, there has to be a psychological state that is created by an uncomfortable feeling between what one holds to be true and what one knows to be true. Conflicting thoughts must occur at the same time in order to produce this discomfort. It can be done by filtering information that one can receive. This filter will help the viewer to ignore certain information and reinforce one's beliefs in the uncomfortable feelings they are experiencing.

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