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Mixed media artist Sarah Nguyen is Cheekwood’s 2023 Artist-in-Residence. Working primarily with paper, Nguyen carves both recognizable and abstract forms out of paper fiber panels which evoke memory, play, and ritual. Her technique is reminiscent of Jewish paper cutting, a sacred tradition that Nguyen participated in as a child. Nguyen’s intricate designs often incorporate flora and fauna, bringing together new stories as well as those reminiscent of the past. The residency will culminate with an exhibition within the museum’s temporary exhibition space on view from November 18, 2023, through January 7, 2024.

It is not unusual for paper to act as a steward for information. We utilize paper in our everyday lives to jot down notes or write letters. Nguyen re-examines the function of paper by emphasizing the three-dimensional qualities of the material itself as opposed to its typical, more passive function of text vessel. Nguyen’s artworks retain a storytelling trait through visual motifs and symbolism. It is easy to become fully immersed in her elegant cut fiber panels, just as one might be wholly consumed with the narrative of a good story.

About the artist
Sarah Nguyen is a mixed media artist based in Columbia, MO, where she has worked as an art instructor at the University of Central Missouri for over ten years. She earned her BFA in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA in Painting from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Nguyen has exhibited her work internationally from Missouri to Japan. In addition to teaching and exhibiting, Nguyen works as the Book Designer for Pleiades Press and Magazine and as Freelance Illustrator where you can find her work on book covers and children’s books. She is also the Art Installations Curator for the True/False Film Fest.

Featured Image: Sarah Nguyen. Install of Devorah Bee and Deborah- Songs of Judgement 76” H x 49” W Hand-cut Tyvek and wooden rod, spray painted paper. Photo courtesy of Sarah Nguyen.

Image Right: Sarah Nguyen. Deborah- Songs of Judgement 78” H x 25” W (3 scrolls), Hand-cut Tyvek, spray paint, and plastic rod. Photo courtesy of the Artist.

Sarah Nguyen. Devorah- Songs of Judgement 78” H x 25” W (3 scrolls), Hand-cut Tyvek, spray paint, and plastic rod. Photo courtesy of the Artist.

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