When I came to UF two years ago, I had no plans of continuing with art because my parents made it seem like it was something that should be left behind in my childhood years.

During my time in college, I have been floored to see art embraced in innumerable ways, from art in the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art and University Gallery as well as in engineering, sciences, health or law to the incredible work produced by my friends in the UF College of the Arts who spend their waking hours in the studio.


Slowly but surely I have found my way back to art because my professors and the really impressive students I have been lucky to meet have renewed my determination to incorporate it into my education based on how they lead their own lives through necessary creative bursts.

National Arts and Humanities Month takes place every year in October, and I am thrilled to attend the Pop-Up Culture event Wednesday on the Plaza of the Americas.

What I am envisioning is an art takeover of the Plaza of the Americas that is in-tune with the national theme of #ShowYourArt.

Public displays of art inspire civic pride, uniting us in our appreciation of what we have collectively produced.

As hardworking students in and outside of the arts join together with faculty and professionals to showcase around 33 art-making and art-learning activities as well as dance and musical performances, I believe our campus is really going to be amazed at the depth, breadth and multitude of creative talents coming together from across so many disciplines on campus.

These are students and community members who you know in your everyday life.

This is also an opportunity for you to exhibit yourself and push the people you know to challenge creative limits in such a public space.

For me, art will always exist between the person and the piece, while dynamically changing with every new interaction and interpretation.

We are exhibiting that very idea Wednesday in the 6-by-8-foot wooden canvas our team built with grant money awarded by the Bob Graham Center for Public Service.

We have drilled into the canvas more than 2,000 color-coordinated screws.

As people walk past it on their way to class or the library, I hope they take a couple moments to stretch a few of the more than 10,000 rubber bands across the screws so we are able to collectively recreate the Mona Lisa.

In order to work the art piece and our community to its greatest potential, we all have to contribute a small piece. The arts and humanities are essential in our experiences at UF because they help us bridge disparate disciplines in order to graduate as more adaptable and multi-faceted individuals. I hope you join us in celebrating National Arts and Humanities Month on Wednesday!



Ms. Van Truong