I Am A Mother, Professor, Activist & Artist: Sisavanh Phouthavong

Sisavanh Phouthavong Headshot

Sisavanh Phouthavong was born in Vientiane, Laos in 1976. She has shown work at the Hunter Museum of American Art, Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Huntsville Museum of Art, The Reece Museum and upcoming exhibitions at the Minnesota Museum of American Art and Gadsden Museum of Art. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street International, Click_Bait, Create Magazine, Studio Visit Magazine, The Tennessean, The Pinch Journal Publication, Voices of America and The Next Door Neighbor. Permanent collections include: Hunter Museum of American Art, American Embassy, Paramaribo, Suriname; Legacies of War Office, Washington, D.C.; Tennessee State Museum; Pinnacle Bank, Memphis and Nashville, TN. Phouthavong earned her BFA from the University of Kansas and her MFA at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, IL. She is a recipient of the 2017 Tennessee Arts Individual Artist Fellowship for 2D and the 2019 Artfield’s winner for the category painting. She lives and works at Murfreesboro, Tennessee and is a Professor of Painting at Middle Tennessee State University.

What are you eating for comfort these days?

Pies, bread, and pho.

What are you binge watching/reading? playing on repeat?

Watching: Westworld and Criminal Minds
Reading: Bread, gardening and investment books 
Podcasts: The Joe Gardner Show and Lore

What was the last song you had stuck in your head?

I Don’t Want this Night to End by Luke Bryan and it is my daughter, Ava’s fault because she introduced me to the song. It is very country.

What is your favorite unpopular opinion?

Rick and Morty isn't that funny but my husband loves that show.

What was the last thing that made you smile or laugh?

I asked my family this questions and they say I don't smile or laugh. Apparently I only laugh at slapstick style of humor according to them which is true.

What is the most interesting piece of art you've seen?

My recent visit to the MOMA in December 2019, I was totally immersed in the show titled Energy. The sculpture piece that stood out was called the Mine Kafon by Massoud Hassani, the inventor who grew up in Afghanistan. He invented a mine detonator that is made from bamboo and biodegradable plastic. It looks like a dandelion and it is heavy enough to detonate land mines but light enough to to be carried by the wind...simply amazing and powerful.

Is there anything else you'd like to tell our readers?

I am a thrill seeker. I have sky dived in Tennessee, zipped lined through the forest of Luang Prabang Jungle, ran two half marathons and hiked up a volcano in Guatemala.