Stephen Hayes is Making Monuments
Brock Family Visiting Instructor in Studio Arts Stephen Hayes has two new public monument commissions: a marker for the Chapel Hill Nine in Chapel Hill, and a sculpture honoring the Fifth Regiment of the United States Colored Troops in Wilmington, NC—recently featured in The New York Times.
Two New Public Art Commissions
Stephen Hayes is a Durham-born sculptor who joined Duke in Fall 2018 as the Brock Family Visiting Instructor in Studio Arts in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies. He has brought life back into one of Duke’s lesser-known art spaces, the sculpture studio on Oregon Street, while teaching courses in drawing and sculpture. His work was introduced to campus through the exhibit, Stephen Hayes: Selected Works, at the Rubenstein Arts Center.
Hayes’s work gives voice to the African American experience, through both historical interpretation (such as his series Cash Crop) and contemporary mixed-media artwork. Hayes explains his series, Voices of Future Past, recently on view at Raleigh’s Contemporary Art Museum: “I interviewed younger African American males about what they’re going through in today’s society, and how they feel society views them. I recorded their voices, and I paired their voices with busts of older black males. . . I am giving these kids a platform to be able to talk about what they’re going through and have it be said on a larger scale.”
Lately, Hayes has been busy with two commissions for monuments that bring his work out of the gallery and museum and into the public sphere: downtown Chapel Hill and Wilmington, NC. “I dream about the work, and then I see if I can do it,” shared Hayes.
We share recent news articles about this work and offer our congratulations to Stephen Hayes!
Where Civil War Soldiers Will March Again
(March 9, 2020) "In November, a bronze sculpture honoring the African-American soldiers who would have led the Union advance in what would become known as the Battle of Forks Road, will be unveiled on this spot, which is on the grounds of the Cameron Art Museum. . . The memorial, which is being created by Stephen Hayes, a sculptor based in Durham, N.C., will celebrate the black soldiers who carried out the initial attack and suffered the brunt of the casualties."
Franklin Street Marker Will Tell Story of Chapel Hill Teens Who Launched a Movement
(Feb 27, 2020) "Sixty years ago, nine young, black Chapel Hill men took a stand by sitting down. It was a move that would inspire others to fight for racial justice and civil rights over the next decade. . . Durham artist Stephen Hayes designed the marker to sit on a rock base reminiscent of the low walls in the historically black Northside neighborhood, where the teens grew up and formed their plan."