Wednesday, February 21 @ 5:00 – 6:15pm
Elvehjem L160
Online at Zoom:

Donté K. Hayes’ artwork is informed by researching traditional African heirlooms and initiation rites of birth, adulthood, marriage, eldership, and ancestry which are essential to all human growth and speaks to the greater African diaspora. Along with an interest in history, science-fiction, and hip-hop culture, Hayes utilizes ceramics as a historical and base material to inform memories of the past. The handling of clay reveals the process and shares the markings of its maker. By using a needle tool, Hayes creates individual marks on the surface of the clay with each strand becoming a collective form. Hayes compares the construction and deconstruction of materials to the remix in rap music and how human beings adapt to different environments and reinvent new identities. The application of repeated texture and patterns on the surface of his sculptures imbue a visual language of memory, ritual, comfort and a sense of familiarity to the viewer. These sculptures are vessels that are turned upside down further symbolizing the crazy world we live in. Ceramics becomes a bridge to conceptually integrate disparate objects and or images for the purpose of creating new understandings and connections with the material, history, and social-political issues. These modern artifacts preserve, empower, and document the past and present to initiate healing and understanding for the future.

Hayes graduated summa cum laude from Kennesaw State University at Kennesaw, Georgia with a BFA in Ceramics and Printmaking with an art history minor. Donté received his MFA and MA with honors from the University of Iowa and is the 2017 recipient of the University of Iowa Arts Fellowship. Recent art exhibitions include groups shows at the Newark Museum of Art, Newark, New Jersey, Trout Museum of Art, Appleton, Wisconsin and the 2021 Atlanta Biennial at the Atlanta Contemporary in Georgia. His artwork has been presented at the 1-54 art fair, London, England, Design Miami, Florida, and a solo presentation at the 2021 Armory Show art fair in New York City. Hayes work is included in the permanent collections of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C., Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul, Minnesota, Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane, New Orleans, Louisiana, The Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, South Carolina, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Texas, the Newark Museum of Art, Newark, New Jersey, the Wellin Museum of Art, Clinton, New York, the Stanley Museum of Art, Iowa City, Iowa, the Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa, and the Institute Museum of Ghana, Accra, Ghana among others. Donté was awarded a prestigious Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Grant Award in 2022. He is also a 2019 Ceramics Monthly Magazine Emerging Artists and Artaxis Fellow. Hayes has been in residence at MacDowell, Peterborough, New Hampshire, Bemis Center, Omaha, Nebraska, Township 10, Marshall, North Carolina, Penland School of Craft, Penland, North Carolina, Hambidge Center, Rabun Gap, Georgia, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, Maine and Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, Maine. He is the Grand Prize winner of the “Coined in the South: 2022” exhibition at the Mint Museum. Donté is the 2019 winner of the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern art from the Gibbes Museum of Art. Donté K. Hayes is represented by Mindy Solomon Gallery in Miami, Florida.