Painting Legends

As a linguist, artist, semiotician, and interdisciplinary scholar committed to social action, 2012 graduating senior Mary Atwood is a Notre Dame original

By Mark Shuman - College of Arts and Letters

As a linguist, artist, semiotician, and interdisciplinary scholar committed to social action, graduating senior Mary Atwood is a Notre Dame original.

Drawing on seven weeks of research in Peru, the theology major recently completed a senior thesis that included English translations of three Inca legends gleaned from interviews with Quechua speakers in Cusco’s central market.

The first part of her project provides written interpretations of the legends for English-speaking students. Atwood comments further on the stories with a series of original oil paintings intended to communicate visually—and more universally than language can—to both Quechua and English-speaking audiences. Someday, Atwood hopes to transform the work into a children’s book suitable for readers from both cultures.

“The project allowed me to wear a lot of hats,” Atwood says. “It involved painting, linguistics, anthropological research, photography, and informal interviews.

“For me, it was a lovely culmination of my Arts and Letters degree.”

Read more at The College of Arts and Letters

 by Mark Shuman

Posted In: Spotlights