As Appalachian State University's Turchin Center for the Visual Arts celebrates its 10th anniversary, we also celebrate the value art adds to our lives. This video is one of a three-part series of conversations with contemporary artists produced in 2013. Here, artist Lowell Hayes talks about his art, his creative process and what inspires him to make art.
The Turchin Center's 10th Anniversary promotional video, "Find Your Art," took home a Platinum Award in the 2013 MarCom Award competition.
Lowell Hayes: I think a painting starts with something I see. Sometimes you see a visual that just really turns you on and seems exceptional. That's a good candidate for a painting.
LH: Painting, historically, has striven for depth. It's frustrating to work in two dimensions. Two dimensions are flat and the world isn't. Dimensionality is one of the things I work with. I use various materials to apply them to the surface, to bring parts of the surface in to your personal space so that there's this give and take in the space. That's where I'm working right there.
LH: I use a lot of natural materials that I get in the woods or just out in the yard. It's a matter of trying to get, really almost literally, into nature in any given painting.
LH: It offended me deeply, what we do to nature - how we just go in and just mess it up without beginning to understand it. We have got to face up to it, we've got to get it in our face. That's what artists are supposed to do. Visual artists are supposed to get it in your face. So I felt like if my painting can somehow help people to get it, and to care about it, then that makes the effort worthwhile. That gives the painting some reason to be besides just making me happy doing it.
LH: I'm Lowell Hayes and this is my art. You go find yours.