Nationally renowned artist, sculptor and architect Maya Lin is best known for her design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. In 1995, the Principal Financial Group invited her to create a work of art for a new building on its corporate campus. That work was A Shift in the Stream, which introduces trickles of water down the two-story-high glass walls of the building’s lobby. The water collects in a trench behind a long, jagged opening, like a running crack, at the bottom of the lobby wall. A Shift in the Stream refers to the shift from the work environment to a reflective, personal space evoked by running water.
(Revised Overview from York: The Century History Company, 1903, Vol. IV, pp. 153-154).
Interview with Maya Lin
elementary-high school This video, offered by the Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis, offers an interview with Maya Lin about her process, how she names her pieces and what kind of music she listens to when she works.
Art21 Artist Overview
elementary-high school This site provides activities, and multiple videos and images of a variety of Maya Lin’s work.
Art & Architecture
elementary-high school The Art & Architecture curriculum is designed for teachers and students to explore architecture-inspired art by The J. Paul Getty Museum. Lesson plans, images and vocabulary are provided to support this curriculum.
Maya Lin Video
middle-high school This video segment from New York Voices, features Maya Lin’s sharing her work and identity as an American of Chinese descent. The video focus on breaking down stereotypes. This Teachers’ Domain resource offers transcripts, teaching tips, connections and standards connection.
Seeing the World Differently
upper elementary-high school This site offers an interview with Maya Lin along with a biography and photographs of the artist and her work. The interview takes a close look at life growing up in Ohio, influences on her work, and how her work is influenced by her experiences.
Architecture and Sculpture
preschool-elementary school Crayola offers families a sculptural activity with links between architecture and sculpture connected to artist Maya Lin.
Symmetry and Balance
elementary-middle school EDSITEment offers a series of art activities titled “Symmetry and Balance” that connect well with the concept of “balance” alluded to in A Shift in the Stream by Maya Lin.
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