Author/Artist Name

Mariah Helena KutaFollow


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Academic Level at Time of Creation


Date of Creation

Fall 11-18-2016

Artist Statement

Lim·i·nal -ˈlimənl/ -adjective

  • 1. of or relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.

  • 2. occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.

  • from the Latin word līmen, meaning "a threshold"

I often think about the different roles that I play within my own life, as well as the roles other people occupy. My own roles include a daughter, sister, aunt, friend, student, employee, artist, etc. At any given moment, I must be ready to change from "Aunt Mariah" to "Mariah Kuta – Employee". Or from "At-home Mariah" to "At-school Mariah". These are sides of myself that possess different vocabularies and mannerisms. We all possess these subtle changes to our posture and behavior depending on where we are and whom we are with. We are constantly in a state of transition between these roles and social circles and we pass through these liminal spaces and into the appropriate role without really thinking about it. But, who are we when we occupy that liminal space? Do we base our identity on who we are to other people? The state of liminality by itself can be ambiguous and disorienting, but I also believe that a kind of peace can be found in that space.

My works are made to bring attention to our own liminal spaces and raise the question of who we really are in that middle ground. I want to bring focus to the Venn diagram that makes us who we are. There is a repetition of circles and overlapping images that represent colorful portals of activity and duty, while the black and white voids are the spaces that have not yet been designated. The various hints of injury come from the feelings of dissociation and disjointment that are effects from the state of liminality that wound our sense of comfort and stability. The contusions mimic the colors of the portals. Crystals are also a recurring theme as I see them as organic, multifaceted dimensions within themselves. They are small, but they hold a great depth and many possibilities for growth. The crystals represent us, as we are also composed of multiple sides, features, characteristics, and are forever changing and growing.

I draw inspiration from the watercolor quality, use of circles, and themes present in the artwork of Kelly McKernan. Mandie Manzano's use of color and movement are striking elements that I keep in mind when choosing the colors for my own works and how those colors will blend and interact with each other. James Jean's work possess an elegant and sometimes dark nature that is comforting and holds my attention to all parts of the piece. His line and color quality are strong elements of inspiration. I use the components from these artists that appeal to me to make decisions in my own work. Much like my inspirations, I aim to pose a question for the viewers and invite them to meditate on it while they observe my work.

-Mariah Kuta


Dale Leys, Timothy Martin


My works are a collection of watercolor and color pencil drawings, a ceramics piece, and a painting that I have made over the last semester. All are colorful and contain familiar forms in a fantastical setting that is meant to be thought provoking along with the idea of "liminality".

Photo Credit

Mariah Kuta, 2016

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.