Vietnam Memorial designer to visit
Maya Lin, the influential designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., will give a lecture in Hendricks Chapel Tuesday, March 8, at 4:30 p.m.
Lin was chosen to speak as part of the University Lectures Series, which is coordinated by the Office of the Vice Chancellor and Provost.
‘She is a very important person to have on campus because she is at the top of her field and has multiple successful careers in architecture and art,’ said Esther Gray, senior administrator of the Office of Academic Affairs.
Lin was still a student at Yale University when her design was chosen for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Gray said.
‘It will be interesting to hear her explain how she came up with her idea for a monument that has affected so many lives, especially since she was so young, ‘ said Margo Feinberg, a freshmen broadcast journalism and political science major and art history minor.
Lin’s work is widely recognized for its originality, simplicity and symbolic value, said Judith Meighan, assistant professor of art history.
‘Her work shows students that it is possible to overcome those hurdles created by more established professionals,’ Meighan said. ‘As a young Asian woman, she had such a hard time getting taken seriously, but she was able to prove herself.’
The memorial is a stone wall cutting in a hillside near the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial and lists every soldier killed in the Vietnam War in chronological order.
‘Just as a scar remains after you get a cut, this memorial reminds us of everyone who died in the Vietnam War, and the scar created by those deaths in our country,’ said Meighan.
Meighan believes the reason Lin’s Vietnam memorial received such positive and widespread recognition is because of its meaning.
‘The memorial represented the gashes in the social fabric of our country that the war caused,’ she said. ‘It wasn’t about war; it was about bringing people together again.’
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial hasn’t been Lin’s only accomplishment. Her artwork has been displayed in museums and galleries all over the country, Gray said.
Lin’s success is an inspiration to all students, said Katie Walsh, a third-year architecture student and president of Women in Design, an organization branching all of the design disciplines at SU and creating intellectual forums for discussion about issues relating to women in design fields.
‘Her life represents many race and gender issues,’ said Walsh, who also helped to coordinate Lin’s visit. ‘She is one of the youngest contemporary architects to gain such widespread recognition, and has paved the way for other people in similar positions.’
Women in Design is sponsoring a screening of the Academy Award-winning documentary about Lin’s life, ‘Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision,’ Monday at 7 p.m. in room 207 in the Hall of Languages. The screening is open to the public.
‘Lin is such a strong person,’ Walsh said. ‘To have such a presence on campus is a great thing.’
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