An Exhibit of Diversity, Community, Humanity and Environment

Maya Lin

3' x 4' Acrylic on Canvas "Maya Lin, 'Merging History, Process and Their Legacy'"
© Nova Starling 2020 


Maya Lin

"The Confluence Project" 

"Merging History, Process and Their Legacy" 

Artist's Comment

Maya mentioned in her book Boundaries, that she "sculpts the earth." I liked that image and decided to put her in a position of sculpting the earth on a greater than life scale suggesting the impact her work has had around the world. 

Space is a metaphor for possibilities for the human spirit. The ripples in space were inspired by a park Maya designed that had to do with the three phases of water. The metaphor in my painting is that the actions of just a single person can ripple through the universe. 

The earth is shown as desolate, an extreme possibility if humans don't take care of resources. Maya is working on the Confluence Project along the Columbia River which through a series of 6 sculptures, she connects the visitor to the history, living cultures, and ecology of the Columbia River system.


The painting's background was inspired by an illustration of the Orion Nebula found on the NASA site. The Native American image looking over Celilo Falls was inspired from an old photograph. In the paintng he views Maya's work as she tells the story of the Native American loss of livlihood with the creation of The Dalles Dam.


The Orion Nebula is 1,500 light-years away, the nearest star-forming region to Earth. It is a grand stellar nursery of new forming stars. Actual photos as seen on the Hubble and NASA sites combine images taken through three separate filters, each designed to record different emission lines - light from sulfur, oxygen, and hydrogen atoms glowing in the tenuous nebular gas.

Take a closer look

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