No, this is exhibition is not about Nobel laureate Bob Dylan and his famous song “Blowin’ in the Wind.” This is about an environmental art project in Milan, the first in Italy specifically dedicated to the work of American artist Rachel Hayes, entitled Blowing in the Wind and opened on April 14th in the Missoni showroom in via Solferino.
Curated by Mariuccia Casadio, the exhibition begins to immediately unfold in the external corridor upon entry and continues through to the internal spaces, juxtaposing the themes of light and air through two very different and opposing acceptations.
Inside, three suspended macro structures, or cages, are covered in small, polychromatic modules of gelatine plastic activated by fans and electric projectors that move the compositions, generating and diffusing reflections and colorful plays of light and shade while inducing low-tech resonances—the sounds of mechanical contrivances—within the surrounding space.
Outside, patchwork bands of multicolored semitransparent fabrics compose a long, suspended canopy that welcomes the visitors and becomes a filter to the natural elements and the random effects related to the season, hour of day and atmospheric conditions and interferences.
Blowing in the Wind: A modular, multicolored textile brought to life by the wind as though it were a parachute or fluttering flag; a gigantic patchwork that spectacularly plays on and amplifies the effects of light and air.
A lightweight fabric, both transparent and translucent, that forms and transforms the landscape and architecture, bodies of water and expanses of sky. Large scale environmental art interacts with the natural elements, seasons and hours of the day.
It incorporates the warmth of the home, artisanal craft, blankets sewn by hand or fashioned from a loom into the vastness of coastal expanses and desert lands, public areas and exhibition spaces; refashioning the work into an original and reactive interweaving of vastness and intimacy, contemporaneity and memory.
A surge of emotions and chromatic variations, forms that come to life and open themselves up to a dialogue with the encircling world; the environmental works in Blowing in the Wind summarize the experiences of Rachel Hayes, born in the vicinity of Kansas City and now a resident of Tulsa.
Hayes found in the culture of textiles and the textures, transparencies and varied tones of silks or nylons, polyesters or acetates, the instruments for a construction that is soft, malleable, feminine, contemporary and atemporal; becoming the link that joins past and present, a bridge suspended between earth and sky, nature and culture, art and technique and free-flowing imagination.
Extraordinarily empathic to the Missoni lexicon, the works of American artist Rachel Hayes—already embraced by Angela to contextualize the 2018 Summer runway collection in celebration of her 20th anniversary as creative director and subsequently featured in the latest campaign and a custom-designed indoor installation for the Missoni flagship store on Madison Avenue.
In Collaboration with the inimitable Angelo Jelmini!
This newly commissioned work by Rachel Hayes continues a series of interventions in the Benenson Center, where art is inserted into areas not typically conceived of as exhibition space around the grounds of Art Omi. An alum of Art Omi: Artists, Rachel Hayes has gained recognition for her architectural textile installations for settings including museums, institutions, and retail environments, including a recent collaboration with Missoni. Hayes' fabric structures vibrantly explore painting processes, quilt-making, architectural space, light, and shadow.
Says Hayes: “This piece is based on my color memories of watching sunsets from the porch, and my studio while a resident at Omi. From dark blue to bright orange, slate grey to hot pink, spring yellow to tinges of green—all woven, patch-worked, overlapping, mixing together from dusk to dawn. During the day the colors will changed with the sun, and at night can emit a glow from within. I was happy to see the same title was used in a Hudson river painting, also based on an idealized memory from the past.”
15 installations along the Karl Stirner Arts Trail
Sculptor Rachel Hayes fabricated Site Lines in 2018.
Her colorful compositions of construction mesh and nylon flag fabric, punctuate the landscape of the arts trail for more than 1.5 miles.
They are placed to highlight interesting points, and to long distances and keep the eyes searching while walking the trail. The individual components, which Rachel calls flutters are in various lengths and colors to create compositions and patterns throughout the trail.
The sculpture will inhabit the trail for the better part of 2018 and 2019, and when the work is removed, the fabric will be re-purposed into bags for residents of Easton’s area shelters. The objectives of this fabric sculpture are to bring attention to the Trail as a park welcoming all people, as well as to attend to those in need through the reuse of the art project materials, becoming a full circle project. From community art to community function!
Hayes visited the trail in April 2018 upon the suggestion of Karen Bravin, member of KSAT Art Advisory Council.
Ron Morris and Ken Jones of Mercantile Home (downtown Easton, on Northampton Street) introduced Hayes to enthusiastic artists and artisans who were eager to help realize this project. Thanks to this rare and amazing collaboration, the work will live on in many different ways for years to come.
Philbrook Museum of Art - Tulsa, Oklahoma
Stay Golden, 2018
Acetate and various textiles
Text by Curator, Sienna Brown:
Rachel Hayes, a textile artist inspired by traditions of quilt making, sculpture, painting, and stained glass, creates installations that use light to transform space. In Stay Golden, a project she designed for the Philbrook Rotunda, Hayes stiches together several types of pliant materials—colored plastic theatrical gels, translucent fabric, and opaque reflective gold lamé—to create dynamic constructions that swoop though the Museum, activating their surroundings. Colorful dapples of light play across the floor, ceiling, and walls, giving the viewer a new awareness of place, time, and space. The warm color palette of this work evokes the opulence of Villa Philbrook as well the golden light of Oklahoma sunshine.
Support for this project is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Bottomless Lakes State Park, Roswell, NM
Nylon, polyester, silk satin
Mirror Lake is a figure 8 shaped lake within a crater at Bottomless Lakes State Park in Roswell, New Mexico. This piece was installed for one day.
On September 23rd, Angela Missoni celebrated 20 years at the helm of her family's company Missoni. I created the artwork that hung over the runway for the Spring / Summer collection and celebration.
6 fabric panels ranging from 30' x 30' (feet) to 45' x 60' (feet), were sewn by myself, with help from my mother Jeanne on two. A combination of shimmer organza, and ripstop was used to create the staccato of lights/darks, and translucent/opaque.
Dimensions: 130' x 90', variable
Medium: vinyl, fur, nylon, silk, polyester
I installed this piece for one day at White Sands National Monument in Alamagordo, NM. The individual panels range in size from 5' x 8' on up to 60' x 90'. Both art works "Swing and Sway", and "Freestyle Canopy" are amongst the textiles.
White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
September 2015 - May 2017
30' H x 50' W x 40' D
Silk, nylon, lighting gel acetate, thread
This piece is installed at The Taubman Museum in Roanoke, VA. Nine sewn panels are staggered and layered to create a swirling color field. The sewn panels reference the quilting techniques of Log Cabin and Jelly Roll. The piece reacts to the light as the sun rises and sets, filtering color onto the walls, floors and throughout the space, eventually glowing at night with incandescent light.
5 sewn panels, each 15’ Height x 12’ Width
Photographed at the Sall Farm in South Dakota in 2018.
Commissioned for ‘Shelter’, a two person exhibition with Patrick Dougherty at 108 Contemporary in Tulsa, OK.
Shelter brings together two nationally recognized artists, sculptor Patrick Dougherty and fiber artist Rachel Hayes in a thought-provoking exploration of space, architecture, and structures. Hayes’ vibrant, delicate fabric installations form a dialogue with the images of Dougherty’s stickworks, or site-specific sculptures created from weaving together sticks. With vastly different techniques and approaches, both artists highlight the concept of space and structure, ultimately making us wonder how we create the spaces we inhabit.
To explore the concept of Shelter further, 108|Contemporary, in partnership with the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities, will hold a variety of programs, including discussions on topics like the Tiny Home culture and emergency housing in the wake of recent natural disasters.
This exhibition was made possible by the generous support of The Mervin Bovaird Foundation.
Tulle and Twine
12’ H x 15 W
Steel cable, nylon, zip-ties, d-rings, PVC pipe
14 separate sails, each 20' H x 35' L
This installation was commissioned by Harvester Arts in Wichita, KS. It was installed near the Arkansas River for 2 weeks during Riverfest, and will be installed annually in the summer. Many friends, family, and volunteers helped to make this piece possible!
Nylon flag fabric, theatre light gels, wood.
Dumbo Freestyle Canopy
35' x 35'
Dumbo, Brooklyn - Dumbo Art Festival
Installation for one night on the roof of Hardesty Art Center in Tulsa, OK.
30' x 30'
Swing and Sway hung inside two arches of the Dillingham Bridge above the Chattahoochee River. This piece was installed for two weeks in Columbus, GA. The Chattahoochee River is a very active river for rafting and boating, so I thought of the people on the river as the main audience for this piece. The two panels are sewn out of nylon and polyester fabrics, and are each 60 feet Wide by 150 feet Length.
88” Height x 74” Width
curated by: Jennifer Scanlan
During the summer of 2017, Oklahoma Contemporary kicked off Showroom | Showcase, a series of installations by local artists in our Showroom (located at NW 11th and Broadway). Our first featured artist was Rachel Hayes. Rachel’s installation, Test Patterns, consisted of fabric panels reminiscent of the test patterns that used to be seen on late-night television.
Rachel Hayes is a nationally recognized artist whose fabric structures explore painting processes, quilt making, architectural space, light and shadow. She has received a number of awards and fellowships, including most recently the prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation Award for Painters and Sculptors. She is based in Tulsa as a part of the Tulsa Artist Fellowship program.
Installation at Boulder Beach at Lake Mead in Nevada.
30' x 30'
various silks, nylon, boulders
'Garden Loom' was made during my year at Roswell Artist-in-Residence in New Mexico. The frame is built from old sunflower stalks, and the warp and weft are twine. Vinyl scraps from my studio are woven in for color. It now resides in South Dakota.
'Swoosh' is made of twine and tulle.
12' H x 35' W x 30" D
Fabric, light gels, Steel wire.
12 feet H x 25 feet W x 12 feet D
Fabric, light gels, wood.
12 feet H x 25 feet W x 25 feet D
Coe College, Cedar Rapids, IA
Commissioned by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District 2013
Free Energy is an going body of work exploring color, light, structure, and shadow.
fabric, vinyl, mirrors, rocks
Shaw Center for the Arts, Baton Rouge, LA
Fabric, vinyl, grommets.
35' Height x 30' Width (approximate).
An exhibition curated by Jeanne Gerrity for Smack Mellon at Blooomberg Headquarters, NYC, 2010
Commissioned by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District 2013.
Fabric, d-rings, zip-ties.
Each railing on the 100 foot bridge had a fabric 'flutter' attached to it. The 'flutters' were free to blow in the wind, between and on either side of the railings.
Pleather, vinyl, velcro, wood.
each side is 8' H x 80' L
Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY
Sewn stripes of transparent and opaque fabrics attached to 34 wire fences.
produced for BravinLee Programs for the Downtown Alliance of Lowe Manhattan New York.
This tent was created for the Headlands Center for the Arts 30th Birthday Bash Celebration in Sausalito, CA.
fabric, vinyl, rock
14' x 25' x 25'
Dimensions: 36' H x 50' W x 30' D
Medium: Nylon, thread, steel cable, d-rings, zip ties
This piece was commissioned by the Rosslyn BID in Arlington, VA, and was installed for 6 months. The scale, and torque of the piece was in response to the existing architecture. The fabric 'flutters' created a canopy of moving colors on the pedestrian skywalk.
A patchwork of sheer and opaque walls, sewn out of fabric and vinyl, create a room in an industrial warehouse.
Created for exhibition Red Badge of Courage, curated by Omar Lopez-Chahoud
Sewn stripes of sheer polyester are wrapped around a glass skywalk.
Commissioned by Avenue of the Arts, Kansas City, MO
Burlap, vinyl, polyester.
First shown at the exhibition Space Invaders, Lehman College, NY, curated by Karin Bravin of BravinLee Programs
Originally exhibited in strips, the piece now is sewn into one large panel.
Commissioned by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District 2013
Flag fabric, polyester chiffon, vinyl, zip-ties.
The 'flutters' were sewn onto a 115' foot panel, and wrapped round both sides of the railing spanning the bridge.
2011 - 2013
Acrylic on Acetate
This ongoing investigation of paint on plastic began at my residency at Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio, and continues today.
Nylon Flag fabric, polyester
36 feet length x 19 feet width