Lara Nguyen is an artist, educator and and co-owner of Stone Cloud Studio, which focuses on the pursuit of public art opportunities. As a first-generation Vietnamese-American, public television was an important early childhood influence. Growing up in the Midwest, the oldest of five kids to Vietnamese speaking parents, Sesame Street was her first ESL teacher and Bob Ross, her first painting instructor. Wanting to pursue art as a career concerned her immigrant parents who were worried about acclimating to a foreign culture and valued professions that provided more financial security. Nguyen knew at a young age that would she would be an artist. Today she and her husband, sculptor Todd Frahm, their two kids, Atticus and Moon, and her parents all live under one roof in Asheville, North Carolina.
Nguyen received her MFA from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale in 2002. She has been teaching at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina, since 2012. In the last four years she has worked in a range of media and formats including painting, drawing, installation, performance, and photography and has completed eight public art murals in Asheville, NC and Grand Rapids, MI. Access to art is extremely important to her, "I want to contribute to a living and breathing museum for anyone and everyone, no matter their age, country of origin or socio-economic situation. I have murals, drawings, and paintings displayed in and on grocery stores, schools, hospitals, churches, businesses, galleries and homes internationally. I want to make art that honors the beauty of diversity, highlights the power of interconnectedness, and promotes inclusive conversation. Art is for all.”