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5 Questions: Maggie Hayes
Artist's creations hit The Sentient Bean
'I always had a hard time fully buying into the higher education format for teaching art,' says Hayes. 'I wanted to make art and learn technique by just making.' - photo by Geoff L. Johnson

‘Como se dice?’ Solo show by Maggie Hayes

Artist's reception with DJs The Vacationer and Jose Ray, Thursday, July 3, 6-10pm at The Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park Ave. Free and open to the public.

Maggie Hayes leads one of the more interesting 24-year-old lives you'll see.

The Savannah Arts Academy graduate and former UGA student is perhaps best known to many around town as an energetic instructor at the Savannah Yoga Center.

But art is her first love, and her second, and by far largest, solo show is now up at the Sentient Bean through the end of July.

The much-anticipated reception this Thursday features a double DJ set by The Vacationer and a fellow local artist, Jose Ray.

The show comes after Hayes, a veteran traveler even at her young age, is fresh off a trip to Costa Rica, which she says provided much of the inspiration for her show, “Como se dice?” in concept and color, if not in literal form.

Give us the quick pitch. What would you say if you’re introducing yourself on an elevator? What’s Maggie’s elevator pitch?

Maggie Hayes: That depends on if there's an attractive man in there with me or not [laughs]. Basically I got lucky. I grew up with parents that were very much embracing of my creativity and my siblings' creativity, to the point where if I went to a friend's house I'd wonder where the art closet was, and why no closet of art materials was supplied.

That almost became second nature, but I didn’t consider that art could be the main focus until much later. Even though I’ve been actively making art the whole time, I didn’t really fall in love with that as a main priority until the last couple of years.

As a big HST fan, I’m intrigued by your painting, “Hunter Thompson Losing an Election.” What’s up with that?

Maggie Hayes: It's based on a particular photo of him wearing a crazy wig, and he has the American flag draped over shoulders. I kind of took inspiration from the photo. The writing on the piece says, "Pull the clip baby, let's explode today," which is a Black Lips lyric that really resonated as far as the vibration he was sending out running for office.

This town is full of a certain type of young artist, usually college-trained, if you know what I mean. You seem, well, a bit different?

Maggie Hayes: It took me four colleges to really decide I didn't want to be in college for art. I got something out of all that experience, but it was mostly extracurricular [laughs]!

I always had a hard time fully buying into the higher education format for teaching art. I wanted to make art and learn technique by just making.

Travel is important to you, yet you remain based in Savannah where you went to high school. Why?

Maggie Hayes: Savannah gives me the space to daydream and create ideas, instead of having to work insane hours every week just to keep up a minimal lifestyle in a place like New York. I've figured out it's much less about the place you're based and more about the lifestyle you're trying to live. And for me that means making art as often as possible.

JetBlue flying direct to New York is actually the single most life-changing move a company has ever done for me [laughs]. Mobility is huge, and cost of living plays into that a lot.

I’ve been blessed to be able to travel, and that’s kept me grounded. I definitely find my art in the whole round view of life.

What about this show?

Maggie Hayes: This is my fourth solo show —two have been in Philly, with one more recently here at Sicky Nar Nar. This is definitely the widest breadth of work I've shown. It will feature everything from sketchbook pages to 10-foot paintings to small 3D works.

I’ve stuck with paintings or mixed media for other shows, but this will be a step further. I sort of want to have people guessing if it’s a group show, because of the eclecticism of the pieces.