Sculpture: Student captures diversity in artwork


Bryan Vo

Jennifer Lay, 30, sculpture major, created the work “Family Dinner,”

Bryan Vo, Staff Reporter

Growing up in a Chinese Peruvian household, this De Anza student’s multicultural upbringing led her to create an award-winning sculpture.

Jennifer Lay, 30, sculpture major, said an in-class assignment made from papier-mache inspired her to create something culturally interesting and meaningful.

The Juror’s Choice Award-winning “Family Dinner” showcases “Inca Kola,” a Peruvian soda, pouring from a teapot into a teacup above a bowl of spaghetti with chopsticks, uniting Lay’s Peruvian, Chinese and American identities.

The theme of family runs strong in Lay’s “Family Dinner,” which was inspired by not being able to connect with both sides of her family as she would like.

“I don’t speak Spanish or Chinese really well, so when I get together with international relatives, we go out to eat a lot,” said Lay.

Lay said she hoped people would learn from “Family Dinner” that being different is OK.

“I want people to realize they aren’t meant to be boxed up in nice discreet packages,” said Lay. “We’re meant to be an accumulation of diverse experiences and it’s OK if you’re not in one camp or another.”

Lay said it is reassuring to win and to know that people appreciate her art and understand her message.

“It feels good,” Lay said. “It feels like I’m finally on the right path.”

Lay intends to create more pieces like “Family Dinner,” portraying specific meaning expressed in a unique way.

“I feel like I have things to say,” Lay said. “So why can’t I say them through art?”