The Penland Gallery and Visitors Center presents the year’s fifth Focus exhibition, Diction, a suite of new sculptures in steel and book pages by Asheville, NC, artist and former Penland core fellow Andrew Hayes. This show is open to the public in the Focus Gallery from Friday, August 3rd through Sunday, August 26th.
“The book is a seductive object to hold and smell and run your fingers through. I am drawn to books for many reasons; however, the content of the book does not enter my work. The pages allow me to achieve a form, surface, and texture that are appealing to me. The book as an object is full of fact and story. I take my sensory appreciation for the book as a material and employ the use of metal to create a new form, and hopefully a new story.
“During the past three years since the Core Fellowship, I have been busy. Directly after leaving Penland, I started working for Hoss Haley in Asheville, North Carolina. This experience has become something I can only sum up as an invaluable education and mentorship. While working for Hoss I have started to understand metalworking, and the subtle nuances that I used to fight have become tools for forming the material. Also during this time, I have taken on the chore of rebuilding a house in Asheville, which has taken the place of my studio practice for the last two years. This is the first body of work I’ve made in what seems like a long time, at least more than a year. I was trying to make the work I’ve been thinking of while working on the house. These are some new shapes and some more recognizable forms that I’ve worked with in the past. At the beginning of making this show I was very nervous about my ability to produce for myself again, but I tried to push forms that intrigue me and discover how to breathe new direction into this work.”
Andrew Hayes grew up in Tucson, Arizona and studied sculpture at Northern Arizona University. The desert landscape inspired much of his early sculptural work and allowed him to cultivate his style in fabricated steel. After leaving school, Andrew worked in the industrial welding trade. While living in Portland, Oregon, bouncing between welding jobs and creating his own work he was invited to the EMMA collaboration. This one-week experience was liberating for Andrew and he was encouraged by his fellow collaborators to apply to the Core Fellowship at Penland School of Crafts. During his time as a Core Fellow, Andrew was able to explore a variety of materials and technique. Surprisingly, the book became a big part of this exploration. In this work he faces the challenge of marrying the rigid qualities of metal with the delicacy of the book page.
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Penland’s Focus Gallery is a space primarily dedicated to single-artist exhibitions. Focusing on individual artists over the course of the year, it will present a larger selection of their work to gallery visitors and patrons.