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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Theater influences exhibit

Swimming+to+salvation%2C+escape+from+the+water+demons%2C+Terry+Hays
Swimming to salvation, escape from the water demons, Terry Hays Photo by Karen Anderson/The Collegian

By Kathryn Kelman/editor-in-chief

As people walked through South Campus’ Carillon Gallery viewing his art, Terry Hays continued to work on two unfinished pieces making their public debut.

Hays, a native Texan, is a Dallas artist, and South fine arts department chair Joshua Goode said he is excited for students to see his work as a different way to make art.

“He is an artist that I have admired for a long time because he is very inventive with his materials and how he sees art,” Goode said.

The exhibition is open through Feb. 22 and features work from two of Hays’ collections, Irreversible Change and Selective Memory. The collections primarily consist of painted sculptural installations.
“He has a background in theater, so they [Hays’ works] become very dramatic,” Goode said.

Hays spent eight years teaching at the University of Manitoba School of Art in Canada before returning to Texas where he spent 20 years painting sets for stage productions and television. In 2002, Hays returned to concentrating on his personal art but continues to design sets part time, he said.

His Irreversible Change collection was inspired by the tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011 and other catastrophic events that happened around the same time all over the world.

“It just seemed like an abnormal number of catastrophes,” Hays said.

He started looking at YouTube videos of the devastation caused by the tsunami in Sendai, Japan. His pieces “Sendai,” “Pembina Highway” and the painted sculptural installations and paintings with the same name as the exhibit were inspired by the series of events, he said.

Hays’ other body of work featured is his Selective Memory collection that was inspired by 10 memories that keep coming back to him, he said.

“Since they were going to haunt me for the rest of my life, I figured I might as well just do something,” Hays joked.

He said his piece titled “Swimming to salvation, escape from the water demons” was in memory of his mother.

“My mom was a religious fanatic, religious fervor, in a good way,” Hays said.

He said she was constantly preaching, and the piece incorporates catastrophic events, demons, hell and other similar images.

Two other pieces from that collection both labeled “Islands,” although unfinished, are appearing in public for the first time.
Hays plans to create five islands in total but said he is excited to see them outside of his workspace for the first time.

“I work in a very small space, so being able to see them from this distance and see how they work and see how they work visually from a distance instead of being in a very confined area, it’s a whole new experience,” he said.

Goode said Hays was still working on the pieces the morning of Jan. 25 before the exhibit opened. Hays also spent some time working on his islands during the opening.

Despite being incomplete, the islands were the favorite pieces of both Goode and South student Dmitri Nelson.

“I’m pretty impressed,” Nelson said. “Some of these things are very interesting looking, especially his layering of perspectives and his use of patterns.”

Nelson said students should come check out the exhibit to look at the different ways they could put things together in a way that’s aesthetically pleasing.

“A lot of this you could translate it into any other part of your life like how you’re setting up your home or something,” he said.
For those planning to visit the exhibit, Hays recommends going in without any preconceived notions.

“I want you just to walk into the room and have an absolutely beautiful experience,” he said.

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