Rachel Hayes is a nationally recognized artist who creates fabric structures that vibrantly explore painting processes, quilt making, architectural space, light, and shadow. Because of the large-scale nature of her installations and her interests in painting and the craft of sewing, Hayes’ work is a balance of power and fragility. A striking example of the balance Hayes achieves is Not Fade Away, a “sensuous and experiential” atrium-filling installation at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, VA. Like many of her colorful patchwork installations, this piece allowed Hayes to explore her “fascination with processes and materials based in craft and design to create an abstract composition that embraces the language of painting while interacting with space in a sculptural manner.”
Hayes’ installation-based works have been exhibited extensively at venues like the Sculpture Center in Queens, NY, where she designed a linear corridor of pleather, vinyl, velcro, and wood titled Trans Revelation Celebration. A folded nylon and light-gel installation titledAlmost Always was displayed at The Nerman Museum in Overland Park, KS. Hayes has been commissioned to create public projects in cities across the country. She has attended numerous artist residencies including the Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program in Brooklyn, NY, Roswell Artist-in-Residence in Roswell, NM, and the Art Omi International Artists Residency in Ghent, NY. Hayes is the recipient of the Augustus Saint-Gaudens Memorial Fellowship in Sculpture; a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship in Sculpture; Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowship in Sculpture; and a Charlotte Street Fund Award. Rachel is a recipient of the 2016 Joan Mitchell Foundation Award for Painters and Sculptors.
As a visiting artist and lecturer, Hayes has worked with a diverse range of students in fiber, sculpture, painting, ceramics, and photography departments at numerous institutions such as University of Iowa, Tyler School of Art, University of Vermont, and University of Arkansas. Born and raised outside of Kansas City, MO, Hayes received her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has based her studio in locations across the USA from Brooklyn, NY, to Roswell, NM. Hayes currently lives in Tulsa, OK where she and her husband Eric Sall are both residents at the Tulsa Artist Fellowship. Rachel and Eric have a son and a daughter.