Artist of the Issue: Leslie Nguyen

Senior Leslie Nguyen returns from a creative summer as Head of the Arts League


Sophia Ran '23 and Leslie Nguyen '23

Nguyen working on her painting. Design by Leela Rajagopal ’25 and Laura Mantini ’24

Despite an unconventional three years of Upper School, Leslie Nguyen ‘23 has become an incredibly accomplished visual artist. Her work can be seen frequently in Baldwin’s art shows, and this year, she has taken her place as Senior Head of Arts League. 

Nguyen has been exploring the art curriculum throughout her time in Baldwin’s Upper School. She has taken Ms. Wilke’s Drawing and Painting class every year since 10th grade, but her artist career began all the way back in her middle school art classes. 

This past summer, Nguyen took her passion for art beyond Baldwin’s walls and spent six weeks at an arts program hosted by Carnegie Mellon University. While she prefers expressing her talent through painting, she took seven different art classes, experimenting with everything from photography to screen-printing. She was able to explore her passion, meet student artists from around the world, and experience creating in a new setting.

Nguyen describes her artistic process as a “routine” where she follows a specific process in order to create her final piece. She explains, “First I look for inspiration, then I decide what size I want it to be, and then I make the canvas and just start.” 

Although she prefers painting, Nguyen occasionally draws, with no preference for her subjects. She finds her inspiration in “anything that looks cool.” When it comes to her preferred content, Nguyen loves to paint landscapes or colorful abstract pieces. The “vibes” of her paintings vary, as she expresses that her work is “really just everywhere.”

She is not the only artist in her family, either. Nguyen was introduced to visual art through her two older sisters, who share her love for art. 

Nguyen especially appreciates the Baldwin art program’s abundance of artistic resources, saying, “We have a lot compared to other [schools].” This plethora of options offers students many opportunities to explore their own unique interests. There’s materials for sculpting, painting, graphic designing, jewelry-making, and more.

“It’s not everywhere that you see a jewelry studio,” Nguyen adds. 

One of her goals as Arts League head this year is to experiment with class portfolios. Nguyen’s plans to have each art class pick a theme to express, and each student create a piece with respect to the theme.

Art is an important part of Leslie’s life, and she hopes to support her fellow artists within the school community through her position as Head of Arts League. She explains, “I’m not the best with words, so I like using art to express what I’m feeling.”