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Donté K. Hayes: Objects of Tomorrow

January 13 – March 25, 2023

Opening Reception: January 13 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The work of Donté K Hayes exists at the intersection of the African diaspora, contemporary popular culture, history, and Afrofuturism. The embellishments and repetitious marks of his meticulously hand-built ceramic forms draw from a variety of cultural reference points, including African heirlooms, textiles, colonial fashion, soundwaves, hair, superheroes, and science fiction tv shows like Doctor Who.

Objects of Tomorrow features a selection of works created by the artist while participating in a 2022 Windgate Fellowship Residency at Kennesaw State University. This exhibition presents future artifacts from a history not yet forged, objects for future generations to consider and admire. Hayes believes that these modern artifacts have the ability to preserve, empower, and heal the past, but also provide a better understanding of the future for people of color.

Hayes builds his forms by hand, stacking coils of clay and then smoothing the surface. He uses a needle tool to mark lines into the wet clay. This is a meticulous process for the artist. Each piece is created without pause in one continuous studio session that can last as long as 20 hours. This laborious working method is meant to amplify the delicately beautiful complexity offered by each work and reverberate Hayes’ hope for a more positive and forgiving world.

He graduated summa cum laude from Kennesaw State University at Kennesaw, Georgia with a BFA in Ceramics and Printmaking with an art history minor. Hayes received his MA and MFA with honors from the University of Iowa and is the 2017 recipient of the University of Iowa Arts Fellowship. Recent art exhibitions include groups shows at the Trout Museum of Art, Appleton, Wisconsin, the Newark Museum of Art, Newark, New Jersey, and the 2021 Atlanta Biennial at the Atlanta Contemporary in Georgia. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally culminating with a recent solo presentation at the last year’s Armory Show art fair in New York City. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, The Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, South Carolina, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Newark Museum of Art, the Institute Museum of Ghana among others.

Donté is a 2019 Ceramics Monthly Magazine Emerging Artist and an Artaxis Fellow. Hayes has been in residence at the Bemis Center, Penland School of Craft, Penland, and Harvard University among others. He is the Grand Prize winner of the “Coined in the South: 2022” exhibition at the Mint Museum. He is also the 2019 winner of the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern art from the Gibbes Museum of Art. Donté K. Hayes is represented by Mindy Solomon Gallery in Miami, Florida.

Donté K. Hayes Retell, 2022 Ceramic, (porcelain)  8.75 x 10 x 8.5 inches Courtesy of the artist
Donté K. Hayes Contain, 2022 Ceramic 11.75 x 8 x 8 inches Courtesy of the artist
Donté K. Hayes Cheat Code, 2022 Ceramic 10.5 x 7.25 x 7 inches Courtesy of the artist
Donté K Hayes Essence

Installation View