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Life & Work with Anh-Thuy Nguyen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anh-Thuy Nguyen.

Hi Anh-Thuy, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today.
I came to the USA as an international student. I studied photography at Pima Community College in Tucson, finished my BFA in Photography at the University of Arizona, and received my MFA in Photography/Video at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. I have been creating work related to lens-based media, installation, and performance art since I left graduate school.

To sustain my creative practice, I teach in high education. I spent five years teaching and developing the photography program at Rogers State University in Claremore, Oklahoma. In 2018, I moved back to Tucson to become the head of the photography program at Pima Community College.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The obstacle for me as a female, colored artist when I first started was that I had a hard time finding venues to exhibit my artworks. I had no connections in the art world or the academic world. My work is my only vehicle helping me to land tenured track teaching positions and exhibition opportunities.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
As a Vietnamese-American artist, my primary artistic source material for the last decade has been my personal history and experiences as a female immigrant. Through my artmaking, I investigate my culture and identity as well as my migration story through photography, video, installation, and performance art. My art is my life and I live my life to make art.

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
As an artist-educator, I collaborate with my students in my classrooms by critiquing and exchanging ideas about work. As an artist, I always search for new ways to externalize my ideas. When my main medium cannot portray the concept of my work, I always look for experts’ advice, study, and work with them.

I set a goal for myself, it is to pay for the work that other artists and experts have given me. It could be as simple as a home cook meal, artwork, or a paycheck. We, artists, should be respected and paid for the work we are creating.

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