UAB’s AEIVA presents “Donté K. Hayes: Objects of Tomorrow” Jan. 13-March 25

Hayes is also the juror for the 47th annual Juried Student Exhibition, which is on display alongside his exhibition. A free opening reception for both exhibitions is Friday, Jan. 13.
stream Donte K Hayes Lecture 1190x613IMAGE CREDIT // Donté K. Hayes, Essence, Ceramic (black clay body), 2021, 11″ x 12″ x 12″, courtesy of the artist.

Works by artist Donté K. Hayes will be presented from Jan. 13-March 25, by the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The exhibition, “Donté K. Hayes: Objects of Tomorrow,” will open with a reception 6-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13. Admission to the reception and the exhibition are free and open to the public. AEIVA, located at 1221 10th Ave. South, is open from noon-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Visit AEIVA online at  

Hayes is also the juror for the 47th annual Juried Student Exhibition, featuring works by students in the College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Art and Art History, which will be on display concurrently in AEIVA’s Odess Gallery alongside his exhibition.  

Hayes’ work is inspired by researching traditional African heirlooms and initiation rites of birth, adulthood, marriage, eldership and ancestry, which are essential to all human growth and speak to the greater African diaspora.

Artifacts are a tangible history that have the capacity to retain, transform, destroy, erase and evoke lost knowledge, according to Hayes’ artist statement. Hayes utilizes ceramics as a historical and base material to inform memories of the past. The handling of clay reveals the process and shares the markings of its maker. By using a needle tool, he creates individual marks on the surface of the clay with each strand becoming a collective form. The repeated texture and patterns on the surface of his sculptures imbue a visual language of memory, ritual, comfort and a sense of familiarity to viewers. Hayes’ sculptures are vessels that are turned upside down, symbolizing “the crazy world we live in.” These modern artifacts preserve, empower and document the past and present to initiate healing and understanding for the future.

Hayes graduated summa cum laude from Kennesaw State University at Kennesaw, Georgia, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ceramics and printmaking with an art history minor. He received his Master of Arts degree and Master of Fine Arts degree with honors from the University of Iowa and is the 2017 recipient of the University of Iowa Arts Fellowship. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.; The Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, South Carolina; the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Texas; the Newark Museum of Art, Newark, New Jersey; the Wellin Museum of Art, Clinton, New York; the Stanley Museum of Art, Iowa City, Iowa; the Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa; and the Institute Museum of Ghana, Accra, Ghana, among others.