Talented Teacher: Ms. Vu’s Art Career

Aretha Liu, Arts & Culture Writer

Though Pinewood art teacher Sasha Vu is beloved by her students and the Pinewood community, she does more than just teach art. In addition to having attended an arts high school and college, she makes colorful 2D illustrations and art installations for various buildings in the San Francisco area.

Vu’s love for art stemmed from a young age. 

“There are students where [you can tell] that [there’s something] they’re good at,” Vu said. “And for me, [art] was the thing I was good at. It was   obvious to everyone and I just went with it.” 

This love for art continued from high school and led to her attending Pratt Institute, an art university in New York. During her time at Pratt, Vu said she was surrounded by the world of art and honed her skills. 

“It was good to be immersed in art and be given so many opportunities to explore different mediums, and develop my artistic voice,” Vu said. 

A few of the classes she took included expressive art therapy, sculpture, and film classes, all of which she said helped expand her “artistic voice” and gave her opportunities that she wouldn’t normally have elsewhere. 

Throughout her art journey, Vu said she has been inspired and encouraged by her art teachers. Despite struggling in other subjects, having teachers who recognized Vu’s strengths gave her the affirmation and support she needed. Vu’s art teachers have been some of her biggest influences along her journey and are part of the reason why she loves teaching art today, she said.

Outside of school, Vu is the co-founder of a San Francisco art collective, Street Heart. The collective, which Vu runs with a few friends, mainly consists of installation art and murals. Vu said she has been making art installations with her friends for about six years now.

Vu’s art can be seen on display in San Francisco; her latest piece was completed in an art residency, which is a studio space where art can be made. Art residencies are typically combined with a show toward the end. Vu has done many art shows, although she said the thought of having so many eyes on her art can be nerve-wracking at times. 

Even as a professional artist, Vu still struggles with art at times. 

“There’s always a feeling . . . when you look at your art and think ‘I hate this,’” Vu said. “[When this happens,] time can [help] if I take a few days to step away and look back at it.”