David Wilson is a Durham-based, Independent Artist whose creative ties stretch back to the Chicago Black Renaissance of the 1930's and 1940's.
Wilson's early fascination with the New Negro Movement and Harlem Renaissance lead him to study art at Hampton University (Hampton, VA). While there, he studied under nationally recognized art critic and educator, Dr. Jacqueline Bontemps – a trained student of Aaron Douglas and David C. Driskell. Additionally, Wilson served as a Mentee to Visiting Artists, Dr. John Biggers and James Phillips. Biggers’s legacy as a student while at Hampton was his tutelage under Charles White and Elizabeth Catlett, while Phillips was a student of Weusi and AfriCobra, two groups that led the Black Arts Movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Through the influence of these iconic artists Wilson developed his own personal style of creating that has been recognized as "fresh" and "monumental."
Wilson has exhibited both nationally and internationally. From New York to Miami as well as Germany and Spain. Wilson’s work is received with awe and admiration in a myriad of mediums, from portraits to hand-painted art glass murals to free-standing sculptures.
David Wilson's work is included in well-known celebrity collections as well as private collections. His works have been specially created for public commissions for Princeton University, the city of Charlotte, the city of Durham, and the Department of Parks in Raleigh.
Through collaboration, Wilson embraces his role as a creative facilitator that helps shape an understanding on how art connects with community as an urban space and how its territory, trajectories, and interpretations combine to separate it from surrounding non-urban environments. A primary driver in his work is creation for interpretation by all with an overall goal to foster introspection, communication, and provide a platform for education.
Stephen L. Hayes Jr.
Stephen L. Hayes Jr. grew up in Durham with his older brother, Spence, and his mother, Lender, who were pivotal in shaping and sparking his creative approach. When Hayes was in first grade, he broke a remote-control car. His brother took it apart and attached the motor to a battery, bringing it back to life. Amazed, Hayes began breaking all kinds of things to see how they worked and what he could create with the pieces. By second grade, his mother had given him a real workbench; she and Hayes’ brother would also bring home abandoned equipment for tinkering. Working with his hands took many forms and by high school, he learned to crochet.
Hayes earned a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture at Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta. His thesis exhibition, "Cash Crop," has been traveling and exhibiting for nearly a decade. In his work, Hayes uses three symbols: a pawn, a corn, and a horse to explore America's use (or misuse) of black bodies, black minds, and black labor. Artists, he believes, are as much translators as they are creators. He started teaching at the college level in 2011; currently, he is an associate professor of sculpture at Duke University. He is the 2020 winner of the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art awarded by the Gibbes Museum of Art (Charleson, SC). He currently creating a monument for the Colored Troops that marched through Wilmington, NC. “Boundless” is slated to be unveiled November 13, 2021. Stephen continues to create and exhibit artwork publicly and privately.