The Taubman Museum of Art is pleased to present a major site-specific fabric installation by nationally recognized artist Rachel B. Hayes that merges the artist’s fascination with notions of fragility and power, painting and quilt making, and the interplay of light and shadow. Inspired by the unique architecture of the Taubman’s three-story atrium designed by Randall Stout, Hayes will create a suspended fabric sculpture exclusively out of multi-colored nylon, light gels, and thread. Hayes’ Not Fade Away will occupy an ambitious footprint extending eighty feet from the ground level and will act as a canopy over the 1,000-square-foot atrium floor. Appearing as a massively layered stained glass patchwork quilt, Hayes’ fiber-based sculpture will bathe the space in vibrant, changing color as natural light enters the stunning glass façade of the atrium.
In Not Fade Away, Hayes uses 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. Her interaction with the Taubman’s atrium combines her dual approach to creating: a love of sewing referencing handmade quilts matched with her interest in highly architectural aesthetic sites. The natural and constantly shifting light that enters through the atrium windows will filter through the piece, illuminating it like a jewel while colored light washes over the cloth, the atrium walls, and the viewers below. Hayes comments on her process, “Hand sewn and often large-scale, my work is in equal major – both powerful and fragile. Scale and color consume a space, yet there is balance with the delicately sewn stitches and understated shadows, therefore maintaining a strong physical and material presence while remaining sensuous and experiential.”
Rachel Hayes received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute in Fiber and went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has attended the Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program in Brooklyn, NY; the Sculpture Space Residency in Utica, NY; and the Art Omi International Artists' Residency in Omi, NY. Hayes is the recipient of the Augustus Saint-Gaudens Memorial Fellowship in Sculpture, a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship in Sculpture, and a Charlotte Street Fund Award. She has shown her work at the Sculpture Center in New York; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas; Roswell Museum of Art, New Mexico; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana; Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, New Hampshire; and in Lower Manhattan NYC with BravinLee Programs. Hayes has completed large outdoor commissions for the Rosslyn Business Improvement District in Rosslyn, Virginia near Washington D.C., and for Artsbeat in Columbus, Georgia. This year she is the recipient of a coveted Roswell Artist in Residence program in Roswell, New Mexico.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.