Plunkett Gallery to Open New Exhibit by Macon Native Hope Hayes

Hope Hayes

MACON – Mercer University will honor prolific painter and Macon native Hope Hayes (1901-1993) in a new gallery exhibition at Plunkett Gallery in the Hardman Hall Fine Arts Building from Jan. 16-Feb. 7.

The upcoming exhibit, curated by James Barfield and Cullen Hammond, will kick off with a reception at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16.

A wide variety of Hayes’s work will be on display, including portraits, still lifes, and landscapes, as well as decorated furniture. She is especially well-known for her portraiture, which included prominent Macon citizens like Sidney Lanier, Mayor Tracy, and a number of Mercer University presidents and Law School deans.

This will be the first-ever showing of about 30 of Hayes’s works.

“It was quite unusual for a woman artist of that era to support her family with her artworks and paid commissions. Ms. Hayes is renowned for a distinguished career lasting from the 1940s until about 1990. Those interested in art, as well as Macon and Mercer history, should be interested in this show,” said Hammond, for the Hayes Retrospective Committee.

“Her work was inspired by the Impressionist movement, but has her own unique style. She achieved the capture of her subjects’ character and personality as well as their likeness. Hope had a long and productive association with Mercer,” noted Barfield.