Virtual Artist Talk with Donte Hays: Welcome to Afro City


Tuesday, October 27, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Virtual Artist Talk:

Donté Hayes: Welcome to Afro City

Zoom Webinar

Tuesday, October 27
7.00 – 8.00 PM EST

Donté’s research is focused on the pineapple as a symbol that represents welcoming and hospitality. This investigation in the rituals and the action of being welcomed or hospitable to others are from his own experiences. He has encountered many struggles in negotiating public spaces as a black man and person of color. Through this inquiry, the tradition of the pineapple as a symbol for hospitality is rooted in slavery and agricultural colonization of South Carolina, the Caribbean, and the Southern United States, in particular, South Carolina and Donté’s home state of Georgia. When slave ships bringing enslaved Africans docked at the wharf, the foremen placed a pineapple on a spick. The pineapple now, becoming the beacon to identify a new shipment of enslaved Africans, has arrived. Thus originating the pineapple as a symbol for welcoming.

From this research, Donté’s art practice pulls from his interest in hip-hop culture, history, and science fiction. The artwork references the visual traditions from the Southern United States, the Caribbean, South America, and the African continent. He utilizes printmaking, installation, and performance to elevate the importance of his ceramic sculptures as a historical and creative base material to inform memories of the past. The handling of clay reveals the process and shares the markings of its maker. Ceramics becomes a bridge to conceptually integrate disparate objects and or images for the purpose of creating new understandings and connections with the material, history, and social-political issues. Donté compares the construction and deconstruction of materials to the remix in rap music and how human beings adapt to different environments and reinvent new identities. These ceramic objects are vessels, each making symbolic allusions to the black body.

The artworks suggest the past, discuss the present, and explores possible futures interconnected to the African Diaspora, while also examining deeper social issues that broaden the conversation between all of humanity.

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Donté K. Hayes graduated summa cum laude from Kennesaw State University at Kennesaw, Georgia with a BFA in Ceramics and Printmaking with an Art History minor. Hayes received his MA and MFA with honors from the University of Iowa and is the 2017 recipient of the University of Iowa Arts Fellowship. Recent art exhibitions include group shows at the Museum of Science + Industry in Chicago, Illinois, the Association of Visual Arts in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia in Atlanta. Donté’s artwork has been presented at the 1-54 art fair in London, England, and at Design Miami in Florida. He has also been included in recent juried exhibitions from the 2019 NCECA Student Juried Show, and the 2018 River to River Midwest Regional Ceramic Juried Show at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Hayes is a 2019 Ceramics Monthly Magazine Emerging Artists and Artaxis Fellow. Donté is the 2019 winner of the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art from the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina. Donté K. Hayes is represented by Mindy Solomon Gallery in Miami, Florida.

Event Location and Ticket Information

Date: Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Times: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Ticket pricing:
Free event
Get tickets now

Presenter: Clay Art Center
Presenter Phone: 19149372047
Presenter Website:

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