Hayes’ painting, “Marrakesh Alley with Motorcycle,” on display at the GumTree Museum of Art.

TUPELO • From a distance, Randy Hayes’ paintings in the GumTree Museum of Art appear to be clear, colorful works of art.

But on closer inspection, you’ll notice something else in the background – photographic images of people, locations or buildings.

Hayes, a Holly Springs resident, has been mixing painting and photography for almost 30 years. His mixed media artwork will be on display at the GumTree art museum until Nov. 26.

An opening reception for Hayes’ exhibit will be Friday between 5 and 7 p.m.

Hayes began mixing photography and painting about 1990.

“I developed a method of painting directly onto grids of photographs,” he wrote on his online profile page. “This is my primary method of working today. Traveling to other countries or within the United States, mainly in the South and especially Mississippi, I take photographs which become the primary source of my paintings as well as the subtext upon which the paintings are made.”

Sally Kepple, director of the GumTree Museum Turn to ART,


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of Art, said one wall in the gallery features Hayes’ art related to his European travels. The other wall features his works involving Mississippi.

One painting on display is a 36-block work featuring the Rodin Museum in Paris. Kepple, who has visited the Rodin, said the painting allows a person to see out of a “window” painted over the photos of buildings near the museum.

On the Mississippi side, the paintings include one of Oxford and two of the hurricane devastation on the Gulf Coast.

Hayes’ interest in drawing began as a boy growing up near Clinton. He continued to draw and paint after his family moved to Tupelo when he was 16.

While in college he hitchhiked across Europe, which confirmed his desire to become an artist. He returned to Memphis and transferred to the Memphis College of Art and graduated in 1968. He pursued art career opportunities in Boston and then Seattle, where he became interested in photography.

“This additional knowledge has proved invaluable to me,” Hayes said. “My fondness for books has continued and I now incorporate them into my art in many ways.”

TWITTER: @bobbypepper30

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