School of Design alumnus receives solo exhibition

February 4, 2017


Peter Hay’s exhibition ‘Unearthing’ on display at Studio 301


Marrisa Hoggatta, a sophomore graphic design major, Rachel Cirsell, a sophomore graphic design major, and Stephen Lewis, a senior graphic design major, look and discuss works from the show. – Photo by Ashley Kober

Starla Gatson
News Editor | sjg021@latech.edu


Many artists use their work to make a powerful statement, and Louisiana Tech School of Design graduate Peter Hay’s newest series of paintings is doing just that.


Hay’s exhibition, titled “Unearthing,” depicts the damages caused by the 2015 Gold King Mine spill near Silverton, Colorado. The collection contains two parts: “Unearthed,” a series of oil paintings, and “Shroud,” which is painted from pigments created from toxic materials from the Gold King Mine.


“Unearthing” will be on display and available for sale at Studio 301 through March 17, and a portion of the proceeds with be donated to the Nature Conservancy of Louisiana.


Hay, the exhibits director of the Durango Arts Center, said his work is inspired by a need to investigate the natural world and how it has developed into its current state.


“Histories of environment and or inhabitant are represented through research, action and process,” he said in a written statement.


“I moved to the mountains recently and these two series, ‘Unearthed’ and ‘Shroud,’ grew out of a curiosity in the power contained within something as benign in appearance as stone.”


Adrianna Speer, gallery director of Studio 301, said this is her fourth exhibition to host and hopes gallery patrons will be eager to see Hay’s work return to Ruston.


“It was only a little over three years ago that he was here,” she said. “So I think the general public will be really excited about this because they remember Peter Hay and they remember his work.”


Speer said she is thrilled to have the opportunity to display Hay’s work and is surprised by the differences between “Unearthing” and his previous works.


“This is not typical for Peter,” she said. “The content is way different from what I know his work to be. It still talks about environmental issues, but I feel it’s much more singular. I’m so enthralled by it.”


Codi Cummings, a fifth-year graduate student, said she was initially unfamiliar with the message behind the art, but after viewing it, thinks it will send a powerful message to the community.


“I think it’s going to be a good way to see how art can be used to help draw attention to issues,” she said. “I think it’s easy for us not to actually care about something if we don’t see it. But this is such a physical representation of what’s going on.”


Emily LaJaunie, a sophomore graphic design major, said she thinks the collection represents the daily harm that is done to the earth’s natural resources.


“I think he was trying to convey the harm that factories and mines can do,” she said. “How going into nature and destroying it can have an effect on a lot of people’s lives.”


LaJaunie said though she was impressed by the subject matter of the work, the style of the paintings most caught her attention.


“I think a lot of people will be drawn to the silt paintings because of its content matter,” she said. “But also because of the geodes, the colors and the forms he was able to capture.”


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