We had the good fortune of connecting with Christine Nguyen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christine, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
I think I tend to be the type of person that just keeps on going! There are times I feel like it’s best to stop and don’t see it as giving up, but instead just taking a breather or taking a break. It is ok to step back, reevaluate and then decide what to do next. For my art practice, I am stubborn and resilient when it comes to being discouraged and rejected. You should see all the rejection emails and letters I have collected! Deep down since I was a child, I have been a maker of things which is my passion and makes up who I am. I am where I am today by constantly working and not giving up on my art practice no matter the struggle and challenges. I have been fortunate to have friends and family that have been supportive. I’ve learned to sometimes to take a breather to re-energize and that self care is important which entails cooking, going on walks & hikes, collecting plants, crystals, rocks, minerals, and things from the natural world.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art practice keeps me pretty busy. My practice is devoted to the natural world and its curiosities. I’m always exploring nature in Colorado taking photographs, drawing, collecting and pressing plants to use during the winter and year round for my artwork and always discovering something new in the sciences and the world we live in. I’m constantly exploring different mediums and challenging myself to come up with new ideas relating to my interests and vision. My works ranges from drawing/painting, photo-based, sculpture and installation. I draw on mylar, make cyanotypes, create large installations murals of photo-based works as well as create immersive installations, grow salt crystals and work in ceramics.
Besides exhibiting in galleries, museums, and educational institutions, I’ve been doing more public art projects. A recent completed collaborative public art mural project this January was through the Art in Embassies, an office within the U.S Department of State, in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Some highlights from my art career thus far is my Hammer Project installation at the Hammer Museum, LA, CA, installations at the C.O.L.A (City of Los Angeles) Fellowship Award and Exhibition; Long Beach Museum of Art, LB, CA; Time and Space and Matter exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of California Art; solo exhibitions at Crisp-Ellert Museum at Flager College in St.Augustine, Florida displaying multiple works and created an installation of bell jars with salt crystallized vegetation; Huntington Beach Art Center which was like a mini-retrospective, and at Galerie Quynh in Vietnam exhibiting my multifaceted works. A few Public art projects in California include the Metro Silverline Manchester Station, Sheila Kuehl Family Wellness Center in San Fernando, Malibu Library, Cedars-Sinal Medical Saul and Joyce Breast Center, and the new County of San Diego Assessor Recorder County Clerk building in Santee.
I am currently working with Sound Transit in Washington for a parking garage facade design and have an upcoming exhibition in Denver at David B. Smith Gallery in the project room opening February 13, 2021.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I haven’t lived in Colorado very long but here’s some places I would love to take a guest. St. Mary’s Glacier hike, NCAR Mesa, Mt. Sanitas hike in Boulder, Celestial Seasonings tour and tea shop, Dushanbe Teahouse, Two Hands Papier, BMOCA, Boulder Reservoir, Old town Lafayette, Lafayette Antique Collectables, Arvada Art Center, Stone Leaf Pottery, Rocky Mountain National Forest, Estes Park, Cherry Creek State Park, Staunton State Park, Chatfield State Park, Union Station, David B. Smith Gallery, Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanical Gardens, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Snarf’s Sandwiches, Sushi-Den, Temaki Den, Tokyo Premium Bakery, Tru Food Kitches and ARC thrift stores.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people that have been supportive of my art practice in my life. I would like to say thank you to my friends, family, colleagues and everyone I have worked with on exhibitions, public art projects, day job and especially my husband Joel Manning.