The South Arkansas Arts Center (SAAC) at El Dorado will host James Hayes Art Glass and his exhibit, “Southern Sunrise,” at the Price and Merkle Galleries Thursday, Aug. 29, through Wednesday, Sept. 25.


From 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, an artist reception will be held for Hayes, owner and operator of the James Hayes Art Glass Co. at Pine Bluff.


Laura Allen, executive director for SAAC, is looking forward to Hayes’ exhibit and the Visual Arts Committee is excited to welcome him, according to a news release.


“What a treat it will be to have James Hayes’ work in the galleries for the month,” Allen said. “On a personal note, I have been a big fan of his work for a long time, and I can’t wait to see his bold, colorful glass pieces on display here at the SAAC.”


Hayes was born at Pine Bluff. He earned an art degree from Hendrix College at Conway in 1988 and began searching for a new medium to express his artistic talent, according to the release.


“Three months later, he discovered glassblowing at the Arkansas Arts Center Museum School. He has studied glassblowing in Murano, Italy; Paris, France; the Glass Furnace in Istanbul; Urban Glass Brooklyn, New York; New Town Plaza in Hong Kong; and the Pilchuck Glass School near Seattle, Washington,” according to the release.


The artist has had numerous exhibitions throughout the United States.


“I use nature, chance and my experiences as inspiration for my art glass,” Hayes said. “My art is playful, adventurous, colorful and distinctive. When I make something I always begin with the end in mind. However, during the glassmaking process the design can easily be changed. Inspiration is also drawn from color combinations in fashion, interior design and art.”


He has received many honors through the years including an invitation from the White House to design a Christmas tree ornament, being featured in “High Profile” in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, on KTHV Channel 11’s “Everyone Has a Story.”


He has also been featured in multiple publications since 1996 and has been on the cover of “At Home in Arkansas” magazine, as well as in “Southern Living” magazine.


Hayes was chosen for the design of the 2001 Governor’s Arts Awards in addition to designing ornaments for the James Hayes Christmas Tree in the Governor’s Mansion in 2007. He received the Hendrix College Odyssey Medal in Artistic Creativity for 2006-2007. Hayes was also awarded the Business of Art Award from Pulaski Technical College in 2008, according to the release.


Hayes has been selected by multiple organizations, charities and annual events to create custom glass awards that are presented to recipients every year including The Above the Barre Award for Ballet Arkansas, all of the Governor’s Culinary Challenge Awards for Arkansas, The Kindred Spirit Award for the Muses, The Autism Angel Award for the Arkansas Autism Foundation, The Margaret Spearman Award and the Good Egg Awards for the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas at Pine Bluff, memorial awards (Madonna) for Ave Maria of Memphis, TN, the awards for the Chancellor’s Benefit for the Arts for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, the Helen May Compassionate Care Award for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the Miracles Begin at ACHRI Award for Arkansas Children’s Hospital.


“His chandeliers are showcased at many locations as they have chosen him to create works of art on permanent display. These creations can be found at The Burrow at his alma matter, Hendrix College, two at the UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute in Little Rock Arkansas, a large series of Chandeliers at the St. Elizabeth Edgewood in Cincinnati, Ohio, one at the Arts and Science Center of Pine Bluff, and the largest Hayes chandelier to date, at 15 feet in length, was installed at Hempstead Hall at the University of Arkansas at Hope in 2018.


“Two of his largest events include an installation at Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, where hundreds of his works were on display outdoors for Splash of Glass exhibit from May to September of 2013, and an event showcasing his work in Hong Kong with a large installation, daily demonstrations, and where custom ornaments were created and sold in 2016,” according to the release.


Details: SAAC, www.saac-arts.org or 870-862-5474.