Tran Vu ‘06
Born in Saigon the 4th of 5 children, the multimedia artist, cultural worker, and organizer has dedicated her life to creating and implementing "socially engaged" art and community engagement programs. Framed by the values and vision shaped by her heritage, her childhood in Boston's working class neighborhoods, and the juxtaposing privilege of her Winsor and subsequent education, Tran's work is reflective, collaborative and deliberate in raising awareness about social justice.
"I think it's really important to go back to one's history and origins," she began, something she has continued to do, living and working in the same Dorchester neighborhood her family moved to as refugees from Vietnam when she was five. Involved in community organizing at an early age, Tran came to see the world through a lens colored by issues of race, class, gender and the distribution of resources and access. Her love of art became the vehicle to explore those issues.
From orchestrating a community mural; to scripting and presenting a cross-generational, bilingual community dialog about 'telling your own truth'; to taking a stand for development without displacement in Dorchester, she creates "cultural events as a way to get people to engage with their own culture, to connect with one another...and to disrupt the status quo."
Embedded in all her work is the element of community organizing. "That's so important because it involves collaboration and networks, and thinking about things in a very organized and strategic way. Thinking about who the art is for, and who's at the table."
Continually inspired by "the power of what art can do. To express. To heal. To engage," Tran is committed to following her passion and making a difference. "Being an artist is so central to who I am," she says, adding, "I believe that the role of the artist it to imagine new possibilities. And to be a part of shaping those conversations within a culture."
The Virginia Wing Lecture Series was established in 1987 by Bradford Washburn, Director Emeritus of the Boston Museum of Science, during Miss Wing's final year as Director. Each year a leader in his/her field and a role model for the Winsor community is invited to speak to the entire school in honor of Miss Wing.