WCSU student hopes to raise money for children’s hospital with art exhibit

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Department of Art will host an origami sculpture exhibit to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital next month in the lobby of the Visual & Performing Arts Center (VPAC) on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury.

“My Wish to You” goes on display at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, followed by a small reception. The work will remain on view through Wednesday, Nov. 30. The exhibit is free and open to the public, although donations are encouraged.

The display will feature more than 10,000 origami cranes meticulously handcrafted by WCSU business student Nghiep K. Luu, who emigrated from Vietnam to the U.S. in 1998. Luu’s goal is to raise $10,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital through small donations made by patrons of the exhibit.

Inspired by a gift given to his sister as a child, Luu began folding paper and eventually became proficient in the ancient Chinese art form of origami.

“Origami is a passion,” Luu said. “I want to make something meaningful and make a piece to inspire others to give back to the community.”

Luu’s inspiration for this sculpture is based on the story “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” which stated, “Anyone who folds a thousand cranes will be granted a wish.” Luu’s wish is for children everywhere to have access to quality medical care.

After his son was born prematurely, Luu was exposed to the Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Danbury Hospital. He was profoundly altered by this experience.

Luu said as his son was being hospitalized he began to understand the helplessness parents feel when they watch their children suffer. This inspired him to want to help others who were experiencing a fate worse than his own.

Luu’s plan is for the sculpture exhibit to move around the Danbury region, raising awareness and money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

“We can either do something to help out, or we can walk away,” Luu said. “I chose to do the former.”

Donations can be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital through Luu’s cause here.

For a glimpse of Luu’s work, follow him on Instagram @Nkluuorigami.



Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

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