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!