Andrew Gustafson in a hard hat

Chanthu Millay’s art is raw and intimate: a technicolor self-portrait in painstaking detail, a metal sculpture comprised of pieces of her old prosthetic leg, a ceramic sculpture depicting the emotions she experienced as her family’s lone survivor of the violent Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia.  

Millay’s art wasn’t always so personal. Her education at the University of Maine has allowed her to open up and tell her exceptional life story through her art — and she hopes to do the same as an art educator once she graduates in December 2023. After her experience with her professors and her peers, she thinks she may want to go on and pursue her master’s in order to become a professor of art at the university level. She hopes to someday help students find themselves through art the way that she has.

When entering college as a nontraditional student, financial struggles were a part of her everyday reality, which was in part offset thanks to the Estelle Phillips Springer Scholarship, a Foundation endowment created by Margaret Phillips ‘42,  in memory of her sister Estelle Phillips Springer ‘68. This scholarship helped Chanthu with the financial strain of re-entering college as a non-traditional student. She hopes to be able to honor the support she received by giving back to the community as a teacher. 

To read more about Chanthu’s exceptional life and journey with her art education at the University of Maine, check out the extended Black Bear profile written about her on the UMaine News site.