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February 03, 2012

Lecture Spotlight: Vietnam Memorial Architect To Speak

By Cora Wang

Maya Lin, the world-renowned architect of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., is coming to CMU.

Lin's visit is in conjunction with the exhibition "Maya Lin" at the Heinz Architectural Center at the Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA). She'll deliver the 2012 Robert Lepper Distinguished Lecture in Creative Inquiry as part of the exhibit's opening reception at 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 10 at Carnegie Music Hall.

As both an artist and architect, Maya Lin has created a remarkable body of work that includes large-scale site-specific installations, intimate studio artworks, architectural works and memorials. Landscape is the context and the source of inspiration for Lin's art. She peers curiously at the landscape through a 21st century lens, merging rational and technological order with notions of beauty and the transcendental. Her works address how we relate and respond to the environment, and presents new ways of looking at the world around us.

Lin received her master's degree in architecture from Yale University in 1986, and has maintained a professional studio in New York City since then.

Her well-known works include the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington, D.C.; the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Ala., "Where the Land Meets the Sea" at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco; and the Museum of Chinese in America's new space in Manhattan's Chinatown.

Recent work includes "What is Missing," which is a multimedia multi-site memorial that aims to build awareness of species loss and highlight what scientists and environmental groups throughout the world are doing to protect species and habitats.

The Lepper Lecture in Creative Inquiry is co-presented by CMU's School of Art, CMU's School of Architecture and the CMOA.

"The Lepper Lecture was created to celebrate the work of artists who expand the boundaries of artistic thought and who achieve credibility through enduring presence," said John Carson, the head of the School of Art. "Maya Lin certainly fits that definition as one of those exceptional artists whose work has entered the national consciousness."

To see examples of her recent work, visit

What: The 2012 Robert Lepper Distinguished Lecture in Creative Inquiry
Who: Maya Lin
When: 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 10
Where: Carnegie Music Hall