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Home > Exhibitions > David Hayes: Ventana Series

David Hayes: Ventana Series

May 9 through August 25, 2019

David Hayes: Ventana Series

An impromptu visit almost three years ago will soon result in public art and an exhibition for the Muscatine community to enjoy throughout the summer. “David Hayes, the son of the late American sculptor David Hayes, was in Iowa in June of 2016 and asked to meet with me,” explains Muscatine Art Center Director, Melanie Alexander. “From that first conversation, we both thought there would eventually be a collaboration of some sort.”
In June of 2016, the Muscatine Art Center was in the middle of facility upgrades and a capital campaign. “We exchanged emails for two years, and David suggested the Muscatine Art Center as one of three museums to host The Ventana Series.” The other two venues are the Swope Art Museum in Terre Haute, Indiana and the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Artist David Hayes can be admired for his ability to sensitively capture natural forms while skillfully cutting, welding and transforming steel, a material historically associated with tools, weapons and architectural marvels. A student of American sculptor David Smith and a friend of Alexander Calder, Hayes created sculptures that are graceful and organic.
The Ventana Series is comprised of ten works and is a continuation of Hayes’ explorations of physical screens which the artist first began in 1976. Hayes imaginatively utilized the concept of a screen. His outdoor sculptures became welded works – sometimes monumental in scale – that reframed a landscape and challenged viewers to confront the unexpected. In the exhibition, a gouache study for each work is on view, presenting a glimpse of Hayes’ vision, and perhaps inner dialogue, as the artist worked through his ideas on paper and then in smaller-scale metal constructions.
Four full-scale sculptures will be on loan to the Muscatine Art Center and will be placed in public spaces throughout Muscatine before the end of May 2019. “The timing of this public art loan is perfect,” states Alexander, who has been involved in beginning a Public Art Advisory Commission for the City of Muscatine. “These pieces allow the new Advisory Commission to look more closely at where public art can be placed and provide the broader community with opportunity to engage with, and think about, public art. I hope the introduction of these pieces will lead to more dialogue about art in public spaces.”