Monday, January 12, 2015
People I Should Have Learned About When I Was a Kid: Maya Lin
For those who don't know (and my hope is that I am the one in the minority here), Maya Lin is a Chinese-American architect, sculptor, and landscape artist. When she was only twenty-one years old, she won the public design contest for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. I remember traveling to D.C. as a high-school student and being brought to tears by the sight and overwhelming significance of the monument. It is, to me, such a powerful embodiment of those who lost their lives in service to our country. I wish I had known more at the time about the person who designed it.
Of Thee I Sing, features a chapter about her (and 12 other inspiring Americans). In addition to reading this book to the kids, we also did our standard coloring sheets while we discussed her work - and I tried to impress on my kids just how amazing it was that she achieved so much at such a young age, and in the face of significant prejudice against her because of her Asian heritage.
I also found this Maya Lin inspired art project online. It is a little ambitious for us, given the ages of my kids, but it did inspire me to just have the kids break out the play-dough and start creating.
I'm definitely late to the party when it comes to learning about and appreciating the brilliance of this incredible woman, but truly better late than never.