James Hayes, on of Arkansas' most recognized glass artists, describes his work as 'playful, distinctive and adventurous.”
James Hayes, on of Arkansas’ most recognized glass artists, describes his work as ‘playful, distinctive and adventurous.”
Hayes, known for his original designs in glass, that incorporates swirls, spots ands curlicues, is bringing a Christmas show to the Hope from Tuesday, November 30 to Friday, Dec. 8. The Christmas Show, sponsored by the Southwest Arkansas Arts Council (SWAAC) will open be open daily at the Art Station Gallery at 20d0 East Division Street.
Hayes said, "I use nature, chance and my emotions as inspiration for my art glass. My art is playful, adventurous, colorful and distinctive. When I make something I always begin with the end in mind. However, during the glassmaking process the design can change."
His artworks include glass bowls, Christmas ornaments, jewelry, display pieces, and even chandeliers.
A graduate of Hendrix College in Conway with an art degree, Hayes wasted little time finding his life’s passion. “Right after college, I simply fell in love with glass-blowing.
Hayes’s creations, due to his unique mixing of colors and patterns, are considered “collectibles,” according to a 2016 article in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
The turning point in his career, he said, came in 1992 when Hope’s own Bill Clinton was elected president. “My career really took off when President Clinton” went into office. “People really wanted something from Arkansas and my glass creations caught attention in a very positive way.”
A native of Pine Bluff, he owns the James Hayes Art Glass Company there. After being introduced to glass-blowing at the Arkansas Arts Center Museum, he studied glassblowing in Murano, Italy, and at the Pitchuck Glass School near Seattle, Washington, among other places. James Hayes was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He owns and operates the James Hayes Art Glass Company in Pine Bluff. After receiving an art degree from Hendrix College in Conway Arkansas in 1988, he searched for a new medium to express his artistic talent. Three months later he discovered glassblowing at the Arkansas Arts Center Museum School. He has studied glassblowing in Murano, Italy; Columbus, Ohio; and the Pilchuck Glass School near Seattle Washington.
He said he was inspired in looking for a career by watching his father “work with his hands and make a living. I just fell in love with glass after taking a single course.” While he is working he listens to music because “both the creative process and the musical creation make me happy.”
His honors include an invitation to design a Christmas Tree ornament for the White House and he has been a featured artist in Southern Living magazine. Regionally, he has been named “best of show” at the Red River Revel in Shreveport, and the “best of show’ at Little Rock’s Riverfest. In Arkansas, his works are available throughout the state from Little Rock to White Hall, from Jonesboro to Dallas and from Memphis to Texarkana.
Hayes’ display at the SWAAC gallery will include an eclectic assortment of his distinctive works, all of which will be for sale. He said making a living doing what you love is nice, but an important part of having an exhibit in a community like Hope is “making new friends and meeting potential collectors.”
Additionally, Hayes donated a piece to the Arts Council for a fund-raising raffle; tickets for the James Hayes original are $5 each and 6 for $20. Tickets are available at the SWAAC office. The drawing for the glasswork will be on December 8.