Today: Mar 03, 2024

Senior artist turns memories into sculptures

One of Nguyen’s many creations.

Kaitlin Bradshaw, Staff Writer:
With a cup of plaster and his bare hands, he started touching up spots and smoothing out edges.
Using the lab hours to his advantage, Bao Nguyen, a sculpting major, worked on a piece in preparation for his senior art show.
“Most of my work is for personal reasons,” said Nguyen, whose theme is based on his own interpretations of memories. “I have a certain image for a certain memory. The fishing pole piece is a memory of fishing with my father.
Nguyen said he has a passion for what he does as well as art as a whole.
“I like to work with my hands. I’ve taken studio classes, painting, ceramics, sculpting, jewelry, anything to do with my hands I’m attracted to,” said Nguyen.
The art department at Southern is small in comparison to others and most classes turn into a family like atmosphere.
“Most of my works have been helped through professors; to help focus on the project. The department itself is very close and small. There’s maybe 10 people that are sculpting majors so we’re able to critique each other very well,” said Nguyen.
Paul Thomas, a painting major, has known Nguyen and taken classes with him for two or three years.
Both Thomas and Nguyen are presenting their work Monday at their senior art show in Earl Hall.
“His idea for work goes along with mine. My idea is the representation of distortion of reality through painting,” said Thomas.
Nguyen said his theme is self memory and Thomas’s theme is self reflection.
“Paul and I knew each other and our work balanced each other out. Plus it’s hard to fit two sculpture presentations in the gallery space,” said Nguyen.
Sarah Tortora, also a sculpture major, has known Nguyen for two years now and has had a decent amount of classes together she said.
“He’s definitely improved. He’s become more attentive to form and harmony with each work he makes and as a whole,” said Tortora.

Bao Nguyen hopes to get into art therapy upon graduating

She is looking forward to Nguyen’s show to see all the finished pieces.
“I want to see how he presents each piece and guides viewers from one to the next,” said Tortora.
After seeing Nguyen’s work throughout multiple classes, Tortora’s favorite piece is one being featured in the show.
“I like the plaster and steel one. The plaster forms can read as many different things. They’re light and delicate but physically they’re solid,” she said. “I can see them as being paper or shells or horns. I think that makes them visually appealing, and how he arranged them is well balanced.”
Nguyen is graduating in May and hopes to continue with art, whether it’s art therapy or get into tattooing, Nguyen plans on doing something art related, he said.
“I could always do graduate school or take more art classes. Can never hurt to strengthen my portfolio and improve my work,” said Nguyen.
Nguyen and Thomas’s senior art show was Monday April 18 but their work will be in the Earl Hall gallery for the remainder of the week.

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