Artist cre­ates chan­de­lier for Hemp­stead Hall

Texarkana Gazette - - METRO / STATE -

The largest James Hayes art glass in­stal­la­tion ever cre­ated now hangs in the ro­tunda of Hemp­stead Hall on the cam­pus of the Univer­sity of Arkansas at Hope. “Vi­sions of Har­mony, Col­ors of Hope” is a cus­tom-made, 714-piece col­or­ful art glass chan­de­lier.

“It was a four-year process to de­cide ex­actly what type of art we wanted to add to Hemp­stead Hall and who we wanted the artist to be,” Hemp­stead Hall Di­rec­tor Dolly Hen­ley stated in a press re­lease. “In Jan­uary, the se­lec­tion com­mit­tee de­cided that James was the man for the job and we com­mis­sioned him to cre­ate the art glass for us.” The art was paid for through pri­vate do­na­tions to the Univer­sity of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana Art and Piano Fund.

Hayes was born in Pine Bluff, Ark., and owns and op­er­ates the James Hayes Art Glass Com­pany there. Af­ter re­ceiv­ing an art de­gree from Hen­drix Col­lege in Con­way, Ark., in 1988, he searched for a new medium to ex­press his artis­tic tal­ent. Three months later he dis­cov­ered glass­blow­ing at the Arkansas Arts Cen­ter Mu­seum School. He has stud­ied glass­blow­ing in Mu­rano, Italy; Colum­bus, Ohio; and at the Pilchuck Glass School near Seat­tle.

Hayes has had nu­mer­ous solo and group ex­hi­bi­tions through­out the United States. Some of his hon­ors in­clude an in­vi­ta­tion from the White House to de­sign a Christ­mas tree or­na­ment, be­ing on the cover of At Home in Arkansas mag­a­zine and be­ing fea­tured in South­ern Liv­ing mag­a­zine. He has cre­ated art glass for Hen­drix Col­lege and the Univer­sity of Arkansas for Med­i­cal Sciences and has also re­ceived the Hen­drix Col­lege Odyssey Medal in Artis­tic Cre­ativ­ity.

“This art glass chan­de­lier has been a joy to work on,” Hayes said. “The amount of glass pieces it con­sists of is quite im­pres­sive. It con­tains bub­ble shapes, teardrops, stretched twists and stretched and curled twists which took 10 days to make. Each piece is wired to a 12-foot frame us­ing air­craft wire. A few of the col­ors were cho­sen specif­i­cally. Wa­ter­melon green was cho­sen to por­tray Hemp­stead County, and red was cho­sen be­cause it is the color of the univer­sity. I feel very for­tu­nate and thank­ful to have been asked to cre­ate this piece of art, and I can’t think of a more fit­ting home than Hemp­stead Hall for the largest art glass chan­de­lier I’ve ever cre­ated.”

Sub­mit­ted photo

■ Glass artist James Hayes puts to­gether his “Vi­sions of Har­mony, Col­ors of Hope” chan­de­lier which now hangs in the ro­tunda of Hemp­stead Hall on the cam­pus of the Univer­sity of Arkansas at Hope. A Pine Bluff, Ark., na­tive, Hayes cre­ated the 714-piece in­stal­la­tion with spe­cific col­ors to rep­re­sent Hemp­stead County and the univer­sity.

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