Genue Inc.
November 30, 2018

Artists We Love: Rachel Hayes

Rachel Hayes Mirror Lake 2015

Mirror Lake, 2015


Rachel Hayes, known for her large-scale fabric creations, which usually explore the relationships between and amongst painting processes, quilt making, architectural space, light, and shadow. Currently based in Tulsa OK, her large-scale installation work oftentimes incorporates brightly colored textiles – creating a juxtaposition between the work and the environment where the work has been installed.  Take a peek at her Instagram if you need some happy, colorful and beautiful images to make your day brighter.



I first saw Hayes’ work when she was included in Piecework Collective, an annual fiber show in New York City:


Piecework Collective brings together artists from around the world, using unique aesthetics, processes, and materials to explore traditional patchwork and quilting. The Collective exists as a means to showcase work by contemporary artists – united by a love of the art form, a sense of community, and its connection to history – in order to communicate and strengthen the value of textiles and craftsmanship. The goal of the Collective is to inspire, educate, and foster community through art.”



Although I love a lot of the artists shown in the Piecework Collective shows, Hayes’ work was impossible to deny – if only for sheer scale and range of colors. However, upon further research, the power of Hayes’ work reaches far beyond scale and color palette.



I love how her fiber sculptures play with light, color, and reflectivity. Mirror Lake, a piece that was constructed in Hayes’ studio – 100 feet long! – and then installed in Bottomless Lakes State Park in New Mexico for a single day is so striking. The combination of the synthetic dyes on the fabric and the natural, desert landscape is visually very pleasing but also makes the viewer think about the natural vs the manmade world.


Rachel Hayes Mirror Lake, Details

Mirror Lake, Details


Another favorite of mine is her piece Sunsails a piece of public art originally installed in 2016 in Wichita, Kansas. Sunsails will be reinstalled every year during the summer months, to complement the changing landscape.


Rachel Hayes Sunsails, 2016

Sunsails, 2016


While I do think Hayes’ fiber sculptures work particularly well installed in the natural environment, her piece, Dramasphere & Black Swag is very successful when placed in a gallery setting. Working with light gels and multi-hued textiles of different opacities, this work creates an atmosphere within the sterile four-walled gallery.


Rachel Hayes Dramasphere, 2011

Dramasphere, 2011


The range and scale of Hayes’ work are impressive beyond anything else. Do you have a favorite piece by Rachel Hayes?



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