BY Samantha O’Donnell
On Tues., Feb. 26, 2019, the Art & Design Gallery at Sacred Heart University held an opening reception for the “Thuan Vu: Windows and Mirrors” art exhibit.
The exhibit will be on display until March 9th, 2019 at the Art & Design Gallery in the Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts atrium.
It highlighted the work of artist Thuan Vu.
“I’ve been seriously studying art since high school as I attended an arts high school for half of the day and an academic one for the other,” said Vu. “I received my BA from Centre College in KY and my MFA from Louisiana State University 1999.”
Vu has been a professor and professional artist since then. He currently is an associate art professor at Southern Connecticut State University, according to the university’s website.
He is a Vietnamese- American artist whose work reflects on themes of growth, integration, and reconciliation according to his personal statement from his website.
“These paintings combine Eastern and Western traditions of depicting nature to describe a space that is as much emotional as it is physical,” said Vu in his personal statement. “These spaces, created through a combination of memories, photographic references, and my own imagination, mirrors the refugee experience of re-creating a sense of home.”
Many students and faculty members attended the opening exhibit.
“The New World (Maroon 2) is my favorite piece from this exhibit,” said Budres. “It is very open to imagination.”
Vu incorporated darker tones into his piece, The New World (Maroon 2). He used a warm palette to paint an impressionist view of looking up at the sky.
“My favorite piece is The New World (A Clearing No. 2),” said freshman Daniel Guarini. “It reminds me of laying under a shady tree.”
The New World (A Clearing No. 2) is a piece that replicates looking up past trees towards the sky. Vu uses light blues to represent a bright and clear day.
“You get the perspective of looking upwards at the sky,” said Budres.
As for Vu, he cannot choose a favorite piece.
“Each one of the pieces has something about them that I enjoy,” said Vu. “In each, some parts may be more successful than others, but I know that every work is a marker of where I was trying to go and where I actually was when I painted it.”
In the beginning of his development in becoming a painter, Vu turned to art as an outlet for many personal issues.
“It became a way for me to dwell on something, feel it, intellectualize it, aestheticize it, and then produce it outwardly,” said Vu. “In time, it became something that I simply had to do. The making and thinking about art is now just a part of me. Even if I wasn’t paid to do it, teach it, or earn money selling it, I’d still be making work.”