Born in Durham, North Carolina, Stephen Hayes is the 2020 recipient of the 1858 Contemporary Southern Art Prize. Hayes is a creator who works with a variety of mediums – sculpture, casting, knitting, woodcuts, video, and audio – to explore issues of race and economics in the United States. Cash Crop features 15 life-size concrete statues chained to a pallet, representing the 15 million people who were transported as slaves from Africa to America. Voices of Future’s Past explores the legacy of growing up black in America and allows visitors to listen to the voices of young black men describing their experiences while looking at the face of an adult.
Hayes writes, “Like the works of contemporary American artist such as Willie Cole or Radcliffe Bailey, my work centers around finding beauty and understanding between myself, as a black male artist, and the nature of the object. My work fuses the past and the present, generally based on sociocultural and economic themes, highlighting American history as it relates to race, identity, and stereotypes in the areas of capitalism, commodification of beings, and the subsequent effects of cultural representation.”
In conjunction with the exhibition is a permanent sculpture designed by Hayes On CAM’s grounds, the first figurative representation of African Americans in the Cape Fear region. Hayes has cast USCT descendants, USCT re-enactors, military veterans, and community members to be a part of this new work of art. This project will promote social change by illuminating this little-known story of African American freedom fighters that will provide a counterpoint to the narrative of the Civil War told by the built environment of the entire South.
The Shadow We Create raises questions about societal prescriptions, race, servitude, fear, and the consequences of not speaking through compelling works by artists Mary Bowron, Willie Cole, and Jan-Ru Wan.
The exhibition is named after Jan-Ru Wan’s stunning work The Noise We Make and The Shadow We Create, an assemblage of hundreds of rusted bells rendered silent by immersion in wax. The Beauties, Willie Cole’s full-scale prints are pulled from blackened crushed and hammered ironing boards. With titles including Bessie, Carolina, Jonny Mae and Jane, each print is named for a woman in Cole’s family. Simultaneously they reference servitude, beauty, oppression, and darkened holds of slave ships. The Shadow We Create features a haunting installation of Silent Witness, a series by Mary Bowron populated by androgynous pit-fired ceramic heads. Some are smothered in thick wax, others branded with soot from the fire of their birth, with all featureless where a mouth once was, or may still be.
The Shadow We Create addresses fear of speaking the truth amidst racial, social, political and economic unease. This exhibition asks the viewer to contemplate ways in which silence is forced and silence is broken
North Carolina artist Pinkie Strother re-creates her childhood memories of growing up the fourth of nine siblings in rural Maryland in the 1950s and 1960s through mixed media dioramas. These miniature buildings and rooms on a 1 inch scale offer a connection to the past through the recreation of the houses, churches, schools, and libraries of Pinkie’s memories.
Pinkie Strother received formal training in art from Bowie State University where she studied to become a teacher and a MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art
Stroll through the ART PARK with sculptures by Charlie Brouwer, Clyde Jones, Vollis Simpson, Mel Chin and Hiroshi Sueyoshi located throughout.
Take an up close look at Cameron Art Museum's whirly-gig by Vollis Simpson.
Visit the USCT Sculpture Park, within the historic Forks Road Civil War Site. View Stephen Hayes' sculpture, "Boundless," commemorating the soldiers of the United States Colored Troops who fought on the site. Walk along the only remaining vestige of historic Federal Point Road, the primary thoroughfare in the 1860s from Fort Fisher to Wilmington. See a reconstruction of the Confederate revetments which originally spanned a course of five miles from the Cape Fear River to present-day Hugh MacRae Park. On the NC Civil War Trails marker, read about the Forks Road battle on February 20-12, 1865 fought victoriously by 1600 United States Colored Troops, contributing to the Fall of Wilmington on February 22, 1865.
Enjoy a stroll along the pond and through the NATURE TRAILS located on the 9.3 acres of the museum campus. The trail winds its way from the museum front door north to our historic woodlands. On the trail you will observe native plant and animal life. Also walk along the FRUIT GROVE planted in 2011 in honor of Paul W. Phillips, CAM's Senior Security Guard. The orchard contains white and black muscadine grapes, peach, pear, fig, apple, plum and blueberry plantings.