BMA appoints Paula Hayes to be its first-ever landscape artist-in-residence

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The Levi Sculpture Garden at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of the museum.

Artist Paula Hayes will soon be reimagining the 7.5 acres of idyllic Wyman Park grounds that house the Baltimore Museum of Art.

The museum announced Hayes as its first-ever landscape artist-in-residence today. Her grand assignment is to “develop the overall creative direction of the museum’s physical environment for the next two years, reengaging audiences with the institution’s landscape through her fresh vision,” according to a release.

Hayes, who lives in upstate New York, is known for her blown-glass terrariums, interactive gardens and innovative sculptures. She’s exhibited her botanical sculpture in the lobby of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, placed illuminated orbs in Madison Square Park and done private, imaginative landscaping for gallerists, collectors and others.

“All are drawn to Hayes knowing that the landscape she creates will be unlike any other,” wrote Carol Kino in a profile of Hayes for The Wall Street Journal Magazine in 2015, “because of her fluency with different styles and her individuated approach to each project…The unifying theme is her penchant for mixing the industrial and the pastoral.”

The relaxing affect of her work will soon be felt by BMA visitors who venture away into the museum’s sculpture gardens and open lawn.

“Throughout my career I have worked with a mix of public and private spaces, but working with an institution like the BMA is a new endeavor for me,” Hayes said in a statement from the museum. “I am honored to have the chance to help shape the natural environment of such a prized community landmark and I look forward to collaborating on the vision for its renewed ecosystem.”

Hayes will start in her new position this spring, according to a spokeswoman for the BMA.

The museum opened its first sculpture garden, named after Janet and Alan Wurtzburger and designed by George E. Patton, in 1980, and its second adjacent one, named for Ryda and Robert H. Levi and designed by Sasaki Associates, in 1988. The two areas cover nearly three acres of the museum’s campus and include 33 works of sculpture.

Ethan McLeod
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