Lee Hayes: The Unsung Dreamer

Art follows the rhythm of the artist’s life. Along with the mind, body, and the soul, as time goes on, it grows and evolves. As motor skills are developed, the frustrations of deciphering the erratic viscera of a child are replaced with clear comprehension. Instead of people asking you, “what’s that squiggly line?” or “What kind of animal is that?” the visuals within you are evident to the naked eye, as clear as day. As people grow, the surreal and vibrant mind of childhood is often replaced in favor of maturity and the grittiness of adulthood.  When looking at old works, whether it be a painting, drawing, or one of those chipped, clay dishes you make in elementary school, many artists look at these pieces with unease or displeasure.

However, Lee Hayes is an unrestrained thinker, a right-brained visionary.  Overall, a talented young artist, she views her old art with appreciation and love. The message of her pieces, regardless of how old they are, continue to be cherished and acknowledged . This is reflected in her art, especially her recent works. As you walk through the display of various pieces created by visual arts students, Lee’s small collection of work hung up in the corner of the wall is noticeably lively and effulgent. In her paintings and works of digital art, the vibrant hues she utilizes are reminiscent of looking through a kaleidoscope. Something about those colors are like visual candy. There’s an aspect that’s just so pleasurable about them. They captivate the eye and temporarily pull you into a world through the bright, childlike eyes of another. And you can’t help but look with the same wide-eyed wonder. In her art, there is a perfect balance between grounding and imagination. Whilst expressing a deep appreciation for her life and her view of the world, pinks, purples, and vivid blues don’t clash, but rather synchronize with each other to create beautiful pieces.

Sometimes, the child within her even speaks through her art, as clear as day. Clay magnets are plastered on one-dimensional refrigerators, purple chairs bend and twist with distinctive personality. She doesn’t let age define her art, just her state of mind.

She is not afraid to experiment with various mediums, either. I’m assuming from the moment she picked up her first paintbrush, she thought to herself “hmm, I really want to try out clay.” Sculpture, painting, drawing, digital art, if it’s art, she’ll give it a spin. Even Ms. Shovlin, while discussing her, enthusiastically exclaimed “She just never quits, she always thinks ahead.” Also, according to her, Lee also got accepted into RISD, which is considered the Harvard of Art Schools (if you’re reading this, Lee, I’m really, really proud of you!). My appreciation for Lee’s art is immeasurable, and I can’t wait to see others feel this appreciation as well.