MARLANA STODDARD HAYES ’83
The Bloom Cycle, above, watercolor and acrylic on paper on linen
Anomalies, below, watercolor and acrylic on paper on linen
From her home base in the Willamette Valley, West Linn, Ore., Stoddard Hayes has closely observed the cyclical changes at work in her garden over a 20-year period. They have been an inspiration for her.
“A model gradually emerged for me,” the artist says, “that provides a sense of how to manage being alive in a time of great chaos and unknowns.” She adds, “The painting practice I’ve evolved follows ancient European methods to refine thoughts and feelings, illuminated to me from a former time of living abroad. Since my early education in Vienna, Austria, and then recurrent periods of rural living in the region of Provence, France, I’ve followed a contemplative path.” Over the course of her career, she has been awarded Career Opportunity Grants from the Ford Foundation, the Oregon Arts Commission and the Regional Arts and Culture Council for her participation in the National Artist’s Member Exhibition with A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, N.Y., opening in May 2019. Alexis Wilkinson, director of exhibitions at Knockdown Center in Queens, N.Y., chose “Anomalies,” shown at left above, for inclusion in this exhibition, which is an exploration of growth and form over time. Formerly, Stoddard Hayes lived in western Kansas where she was an Artist-In-Residence with the Kansas Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. She relocated to Oregon in 2000 to set up her garden-centered practice and start a family.
Rejoining the Heart to the Body
We’ve all done it,
stayed up late listening to John Coltrain
or Pink Floyd, or whatever
made us feel a little sorry for ourselves.
We’ve sat in our wooden chairs
in our studios or studies or kitchens
while our spouses slept in flannel sheets.
We’ve held a beer or candle or crucifix
and studied the delicate architecture
that bastard child of memory,
prodigal and awake late in the darkness,
beating tiny fists against our hollowed
We have illuminated loss with prayer
or poems, or the simple talking
to ourselves while our elbows rested
in the strong-triangle of support.
We have rehearsed old loves, odd losses
and listed them, just to hear them said,
give them form,
and carry them again: Happened loves,
jaded loves, perpetual loves,
even the loves we didn’t know about
until they were gone. The specifics
we’ve tried to commit to: a face,
a hand gesture saying what, or
please, a voice going through our heads
as if we could fill the ghost organ
with voice and weigh it down,
ground it to the bed where it belongs.
– Scott Gallaway ’00
Gallaway’s “Rejoining the Heart to the Body” was the first poem ever to be featured on The Shocker’s Shock Art page back in 1999.