10/03/05 — Group unveils print in honor of festival

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Group unveils print in honor of festival

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on October 3, 2005 1:48 PM

FAISON -- A chance meeting at a blueberry festival has turned into a special print for the Market Days Festival.

Artist Ivey Hayes of Wilmington greeted the lunch crowd gathered at the Southern Exposure Restaurant in Faison Sunday to unveil the painting done for the Faison Improvement Group to commemorate the second annual Market Day Festival, which is set for Oct. 22.

Some of those gathered came just to catch a glimpse of the painting and to buy a print, which the Faison Improvement Group is selling for $40 each.

Hayes has a gallery at Wilmington and exhibits his works all over North Carolina and New York and has collectors in the U.S. and Europe. He has been signature artist for several festivals.

Market Day chairman Lisa Patterson said she met Hayes during the Blueberry Festival in Burgaw last year, and she bought some prints from him. He had created a Blueberry Festival painting.

She said she called him later and asked if he would do one for the Market Day Festival, and he agreed do to so at no cost to the group. He even let the organization sell the prints.

Improvement Group members enlarged old pictures of the original produce market sales and took them to Hayes for ideas to incorporate into the painting.

A shed where produce was sold caught Ivey's eye.

"The shed was very interesting," he said. "I could feel the people. It was saying, 'This is a farmer's market.'"

The Market Day painting is a splash of blues and greens with some orange, gold and pink. The picture features enormous pieces of produce in the foreground, with people behind and a deep blue sky with puffy clouds of lavender, powder blue and white.

The Faison Improvement Group received 105 limited edition prints to sell.

Hayes wouldn't say how much he is asking for his original, but he said the price is negotiable. He wants to talk to whoever is interested in the painting.

All of his works are done in acrylic.

Hayes said his early works were watercolors. But several years ago, he said he had a vision in bold colors, with silhouettes of black women wearing long flowing gowns that had geometric designs on them.

He said God told him in the vision that he would not be painting with watercolors anymore. He would do all his work in acrylic.

"For five or six years, I cried like a baby, because I didn't want to leave watercolors," Hayes said.

But he said he's glad now. He said acrylics allow him to "capture the essence of life."

He said he is looking forward to displaying some of his other work at the Market Days Festival.

"At the festival when they see the prints I have, it will give them a bigger picture of who I am," he said.

Hayes was one of eight children born to a peanut and tobacco farmer at Rocky Point near Wilmington. He started painting in the third grade and began winning awards in the fifth grade.

He earned his fine arts degree from University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has been selling paintings since 1970.

Hayes' brother, Phillip, has been traveling with him for the past couple years to help with the exhibits and displays.

People love his brother's brilliant colors, Phillip Hayes said. He's 50. Ivey Hayes is 57.

"Ivey does a tremendous amount of work," he said, pointing to a catalogue of the artist's works, which he said is not even half of them. He said his brother will have "tons of prints on Market Day."