• What is your degree program and expected graduation date? School of Art and Art History Graduate Program in Dimensional Practice in Ceramics, May 2020
• Please describe your research: My research is focused on interpreting traditions from the Caribbean, the American South, and the African continent through the medium of clay. I also explore hip-hop culture and themes in Afrofuturism, a projected vision of an imagined future which critiques the historical and cultural events of the African Diaspora.
• In simple terms, why does this research matter? The creation of a ceramic object has the power to bridge conceptually disparate objects and or images for the purpose of creating new understandings and connections with the material, history, and social-political issues.
• How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I was able to participate in research at the University of Iowa in the summer before my first semester of graduate school began in the fall of 2017.
• How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? Being involved in research at the University of Iowa has elevated my artistic practice and experience in the use of clay materials, while also expanding my knowledge of untold history and truths dealing with the distinct black experience of the Middle Passage.
• What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? I plan to continue making artwork researching themes associated with hip hop, history and science fiction as a studio artist and or artist resident. I would also like to pursue opportunities as a visiting art professor, art curator or art facilitator working with up-and-coming emerging artists who are just beginning their career paths.
• Faculty mentor/advisor: Andrew Casto, Assistant Professor of Dimensional Practice (Ceramics)
• Hometown: Kennesaw, Georgia
• Click here for a story spotlighting Donté K. Hayes
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