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In this video, artist Paula Hayes discusses her early life growing up on a working farm and the importance of nurturance in her work and society. Hayes’s living art intimately connects people with the natural environment. With both living sculptures and mini-ecosystems, Hayes’s over two-decade body of work forges new relationships among artwork, owner, and the natural and human environment. For her yearlong solo exhibition at the Tang, Understory, Hayes transformed the gallery into an immersive environment brimming with life. Part exhibition gallery, part lounge, and part dining room, the space featured a forest of large silicone planters housing a field of Norfolk pine trees, a series of her hand-blown glass terrariums—home to a variety of plants and gems—and new wallpaper and dinnerware she custom-designed for the exhibition. Over the course of the exhibition, Understory was the site for numerous dialogues, events, and dinners served on Hayes’s hand-crafted dinnerware. Understory was the 20th exhibition in the Tang Museum’s Opener series, which presents important bodies of work by contemporary artists through exhibitions and accompanying catalogues. CREDITS | Producer/Camera/Editor: Vickie Riley. Interview: Ian Berry. ©The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, 2010

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