Meet Ngoc-Tran Vu (Tran), LBFE Boston’s newest Creative Connections instructor. She was born in Vietnam, but grew up in Boston, settling with her family in the working-class neighborhoods of South Boston and Dorchester. Art always came naturally to Tran, and she says that art is “where she felt most at ease.” It was her 4th-grade teacher, Miss Sally, who encouraged Tran to take more classes and explore the world of art. And she did just that.
Tran applied for and won a Museum of Fine Arts, Boston scholarship as an elementary school student, which launched her interest in painting and drawing during her middle and high school years. Through after-school and Mass College of Art programs, Tran immersed herself in the world of art.
However, as is the case with many young artists, Tran did not always see her passion as a potential career path. Art took a secondary role in her undergraduate studies, but it ‘just didn’t feel right’ when it wasn’t her primary focus. After moving to New York City for graduate school, Tran began to see and use art to organize the community. She signed up for cultural events to engage community members in art.
Now, ten years later and back in Boston, Tran considers herself a multimedia artist who focuses on photography, painting, drawing, and public art, including murals in local communities. She continues to include art as part of cultural engagement, especially within the Asian American community. The main theme of her work is: how do we activate and cultivate creativity?
Tran’s answer is simple. By making art inclusive, accessible, and non-intimating for all types of personalities. By using participants’ interests to drive art lessons and by creating a sense of belonging and community. By meeting students where they’re at and helping those who are hesitant to try art by incorporating it into their everyday life (for example, carrying a sketchbook around).
Tran’s advice to older and younger adults? “We are all artists. Continue to cultivate your inner child and creativity.”
Visit www.TranVuArts.com and follow Tran on social media @TranVuArts to learn more.