Lara Nguyen is an artist who currently teaches at Warren Wilson College. She was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana and is the eldest of five children. Lara holds a BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design and an MFA from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. In 2002, upon graduation from SIUC, she was hired as an Assistant Professor at California State University, Long Beach, where she taught until 2006. Lara went on to teach at the Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts at Indiana University until 2012. Lara has exhibited nationally in California, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee and internationally in Canada, Japan, Korea, Paraguay and Scotland. Her work is in private and public collections including St. John’s Mercy Hospital in Washington, MO, and the Asian American Arts Centre in New York, NY.
My ongoing body of work is a tool for fusing autobiographical fact with figments from my imagination. In drawings I hope to evoke memories of childhood, incarnations of daydreams, or the like. Most of the stories I want to tell involve my family. Having my siblings model or stand in for me is the most natural solution. Getting them to actually pose is another story, but when I do, memories collectively surface, turning models into collaborators. They provide layers of depth that I alone cannot produce. My stories become ours.