ARH1000 discussion.docx - Maya Lin is a Chinese- American...

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Maya Lin is a Chinese- American artist that was born in Athens, Ohio and both of her parents wereChinese immigrants. Lin studied architecture at Yale University where she received an undergraduateand master’s degree. She is most famous for her design of the Vietnam veteran’s memorial.In 1989 she was commissioned by President Benno Schmidt to create an artwork for the 20thanniversary of the coeducation of Yale University. The piece is not a memorial but instead a placed tocommemorate the women at the University, because until 1968 Yale had been a males world. Thesculpture is located in the center of campus at the Rose Walk, a pedestrian walkway. It a spiral string ofnumbers that starts with a group of zeros in the middle, accounting for the number of women at theuniversity. For each year that passes the numbers spiral to the edge until it can be seen filled withbabbling water. She created it as a spiral because there is a beginning but the ending is ongoing. Lin usedold fashioned text because it was what the Yale course book was printed on, so alumni would come backand recognize the text.Most of Maya Lin’s other pieces are influenced by nature and the environment but this one is influencedby her time at college and the presence and absence of females at the university.I do not believe thatthis piece specifically reflects Chinese cultural memory. Most of Lin’s artwork show the natural worldthrough different landscapes. Maya lin might identify as a Chinese American but that can not be seenthrough most of her pieces. I do not think an argument can be made based on her artworks and artistsstatements that she self-identifies as Chinese American. Sometimes heritage and culture can beexpressed internally or privately so we can not necessarily say that she does not identify as ChineseAmerican. I can relate because my dad is a Bulgarian immigrant, and I express my culture and heritageprivately with my family. I believe our culture is always influencing us in some way but that does notmean we have to express it to the world.Module 3:Norma Merrick Sklarek was born in Harlem, New York City. She was an only child of immigrants fromTrinidad. He mother was a seamstress and her father was a doctor. Sklarek was on of the first AfricanAmerican Archietects in the United states. During her time she was eve called the “rosa Parks ofarchitecture.” She attended barnard college for a year before she was accepted into the School ofArchitecture at Colombia University. Sklarek was one of two women that graduated in her class, and shewas the only African American. After college she struggled to find work and faced discrimination fromher peers and the people around her. She was rejected by 19 architecture firms before she was able tofind a job. Many firms did not want to hire women especially one who was African American. Womenwere very scare in this field because it was a mans world. When she finally took a job she felt she wasbeing underused and ignored. She persevered and became the first licensed African American woman inthe state of New York, and in California. Even though she now had a license to prove her worth Sklarekwas still given menial tasks like designing bathroom layouts. Her race and gender were still seen asliabilities. She kept over coming her challenges and made it to create a architecture firm that supported

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Term
Spring
Professor
Easterling,DominiqueShayla
Tags
The American, Native Americans in the United States, Norma Merrick Sklarek

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