Every year the Gibbes Museum of Art hosts a big deal speaker as part of their Distinguished Lecture Series (think Jeff Koons and Pablo Picasso’s grandson), and this year is no different. Maya Lin, an artist, designer, and environmentalist best known for her first work, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, speaks at the Charleston Music Hall on Nov. 7. Tickets for Gibbes members go on sale later this summer; stay tuned for updates on general admission tickets.

As a 21-year-old Yale undergrad, Lin designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. A freshman and sophomore student during the war, Lin watched stonecutters add names of those killed in the Vietnam War to the marble walls of the University’s Memorial Rotunda. She wrote, “I think it left a lasting impression on me, the sense of the power of a name.”

Lin “catapulted into the public eye” when she won the design competition for the memorial, and since then she has continued to work as an artist and architect, “exploring how we experience and relate to nature, setting up a systematic ordering of the land that is tied to history, memory, time, and language.”

Her current project, What is Missing?, is a multi-dimensional memorial that uses installations, video, and an interactive website to call attention to the mass extinction of species happening around the world.

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