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Andrew Hayes

2019 State Fellow

Andrew Hayes

Recipient Information


Asheville, North Carolina



Year of Award


Grant or Fellowship

Southern Prize and State Fellowships

Grant Amount


Artist Biography

Asheville, N.C., mixed media sculptor Andrew Hayes (b. 1981, Tucson, Ariz.) has participated in some 60 exhibitions in 15 states. They include 11 solo exhibitions in venues such as the Hunterdon Art Gallery in Clinton, N.J.; the National Ornamental Iron Muse um in Memphis, Tenn.; the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Ore.; the Penland (N.C.) Focus Gallery; and Seager/Gray Gallery in Mill Valley, Calif. Hayes studied sculpture at Northern Arizona University and was a Core Fellow at Penland School of Crafts, where from 2014 – 2017 he was an artist in residence.

Artist Statement

Book paper and steel are perceived differently and placed in different contexts in our lives. The book is appreciated as an object of education, growth and escape. Steel, on the other hand, does not trigger such lofty associations and, moreover, is often invisible, even though it is a primary element of our constructed environment. I strive to overcome the disparate perceptions of the materials and level the playing field between them by combining them in constructions in which they complement each other and play equally important roles. This results in what I hope are formally and aesthetically intriguing objects but also in an awareness of how seeming opposites can work together, in this case by exploring and exploiting unexpected features that they share, such as flexibility, history, mass and density. The process and results will, I hope, do what art is supposed to do: make us think, challenge preconceived notions and see new and surprising possibilities.

Unbound blocks of text lose their original meaning when I cut the pages from their bindings. This allows me to respond to the shape and texture of the paper and give it a new formal context. Introducing metal to the composition allows me to create a new structure and support for the loose pages, and elevates the steel – a familiar material in industry and architecture – to the level of the book – an object for contemplation.

Alongside the paper, the steel becomes graceful, its subtle colors and surface heightened. Bound together, the pages and steel become something new and unified. No longer do the pages form a book on a shelf; with the steel, they become a unique object with its own strength and story.

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