Clay Hawkley, do-it-yourself artist and RedLine resident.
Clay Hawkley, do-it-yourself artist and RedLine resident.
Courtesy of Clay Hawkley

Colorado Creatives: Clay Hawkley

Boulder artist Clay Hawkley mixes mediums and materials with conceptual ideas and the hands of a craftsman, engendering new intellectual life for found objects. He worked his way into a RedLine residency with the skills of a professional designer and metal fabricator, an energetic will and the kind of imagination that spawned the DIY project Hitch Gallery, a rolling, morphing art installation hitched to the back of his car. Catch up with Hawkley as he works his way through the Colorado Creatives questionnaire.

Clay Hawkley, “Peanut Butter Cups,” photocopies, string and push pins on cork board, 2018.
Clay Hawkley, “Peanut Butter Cups,” photocopies, string and push pins on cork board, 2018.
Courtesy of Clay Hawkley

Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?

Hilma af Klint is new and interesting to me. Her work looks great, and I like what she adds to the origin story of modernism and abstraction.

Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to invite to your next party, and why?

I'll go with Baroness Elsa, Maya Angelou and Richard Pryor. The mix of personalities might be a disaster, but I think it could really work.

Clay Hawkley, “Pinch,” found-image inkjet print and binder clip on paper, 2018.
Clay Hawkley, “Pinch,” found-image inkjet print and binder clip on paper, 2018.
Courtesy of Clay Hawkley

What’s the best thing about the local creative community in your field — and the worst?

There’s a lot of openings, events and spaces to visit, and for the most part they're accessible. With some effort you can find a community that suits you. The work can get repetitive, but new venues and artists are popping up all the time.

How about globally?

I like that I can see and interact with artists all over the world, but it can be like an endless menu. It’s easy to get distracted or lost in the mix.

Are trends worth following? What’s one trend you love and one that you hate?

Trends are worth following. Its good to know what’s going on, and established ideas aren’t always interesting. I like the trend of merging “folk” and “fine” art. Art following the market is probably my least favorite trend.

Clay Hawkley, “Wash Your Hands,” paper collage, hand towel and towel rack, 2018.
Clay Hawkley, “Wash Your Hands,” paper collage, hand towel and towel rack, 2018.
Courtesy of Clay Hawkley

What’s your dream project?

One dream project is to put a sixty-foot bronze of my mom in a roundabout in her home town of American Falls, Idaho.

If you died tomorrow, what or whom would you come back as?

I’d probably come back as a referee. I grew up with sports, so I know the rules pretty well.

Clay Hawkley, “Shadow People," marker and graphite powder on paper, 2018.
Clay Hawkley, “Shadow People," marker and graphite powder on paper, 2018.
Courtesy of Clay Hawkley

Denver, love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?

I’ve spent most of my time in the American West, so the people, landscape and lifestyle in Colorado makes a lot of sense. I love it, but I don’t always like that familiarity, so a move at some point wouldn’t be too big of a surprise.

Clay Hawkley, "Interior," installation image, 2018.
Clay Hawkley, "Interior," installation image, 2018.
Courtesy of Clay Hawkley

Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?

I'd have a different answer for this every month or so. Esther Hernandez is a current favorite. I like her level of finish and experimentation.

What's on your agenda in the coming year?

I finished a show at 808 Projects in August, and I’m currently working with a few new project ideas. I’m at RedLine for another year, and there’s always something there I’m either considering or participating in.

Who do you think will (or should) get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?

I recently met Tya Alisa Anthony and Trey Duvall. They're both working with good ideas, and I think they’ll get more notice. Keep an eye out!

Keep up with Clay Hawkley and his work online.

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