The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Meet the Major: Studio Arts

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UMass Amherst student with a painting. Text: Meet the Major - Studio Arts

Vy Nguyen is a senior studying studio arts, with a concentration in animation, through the Bachelor’s of Fine Arts program. She is also pursuing a minor in Chinese language, and chose to attend UMass partially for its familial ties. 

“Many generations of my family have attended UMass Amherst -- and they all had a great college experience. My grandfather still speaks fondly of his time here. Choosing to go to UMass Amherst just felt right,” she said. 

Vy chose to study art as a way for her to expand her modes of communication; she chose her minor for similar reasons. As she explained, “Art has always been important to me. I did not grow up speaking English, so verbal communication was difficult for a time. Art allowed me to convey what I could not, and studying would allow me to expand my modes of expression. I chose to minor in Chinese language because animation is a much larger industry in Asia. Also, because Chinese is a business language, learning it would help me adapt to working in many Asian countries.”

Through her classes in the art department, Vy says she has learned a lot. However, she notes that because almost all the professors are practicing artists, the department of art is home to some of the strangest professors on campus. 

“All of my classes at UMass have been really informative, maybe not always in the way that they intend to be, but I have learned a lot and feel prepared to carve a path to a career. Since the majority of my professors teach art, they have been exceptionally strange. Their type of strange is good, it allows them to provide the feedback necessary to create an artwork,” she said. 

Vy’s animation classes have provided her with skills to enter a variety of creative roles, though she intends to pursue a career in the creative side of advertising following her graduation in May. “In terms of animation, there are careers in filmmaking, advertising, and video game development. The positions include character animator, motion graphics designer, and 3D modeler,” she explained. 

In her free time, Vy works on digital illustrations for fun and to help keep her creative side flowing. Check out her work, including her final BFA thesis Juicebox, on her website


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