Little Laos on the Prairie recently interviewed Lao American visual artist Aloun Phoulavan from Minnesota. Phoulavan has been one of many artists working with the Lao Assistance Center and other national efforts to encourage emerging Lao artists in the community from diverse generations.
Phoulavan has exhibited at numerous events and projects including the National Lao American Writers Summit, the Lao’d and Clear reading, and others, and has been generously sharing his experience with those who have a passion for the arts.
Aloun Phoulavan was born on 1971 in Vientiane, Laos and raised in Northeast Thailand. He is the second oldest of five children born to immigrant Lao/Thai parents. They arrived in the United States in 1976 as part of the first wave of Southeast Asian immigrants to the United States and their family was lucky enough to be sponsored by a church, which is what led them to settle down in a South Central Wisconsin city.
He has been teaching art for at least thirteen years. Ten of which have been in the St. Paul Public Schools. He has taught students varying in grade level from kindergarten through the twelfth grade. Currently, he teaches reading at Columbia Academy middle school in Columbia Heights Public Schools.
His K-12 education was in the Janesville Public School system in Janesville Wisconsin. He received his undergraduate degree in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin- Stout in Menomonie. He completed his M. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Art Education from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities in the winter of 2003, and his Reading Specialist License at Hamline University June 2010.