We had the good fortune of connecting with Kathy Robinson-Hays and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kathy, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I pursued an artistic career because it just seemed the most natural thing for me to do. I remember learning to draw at a very young age by copying cut out paper dolls and creating a completely new wardrobe for them. I always felt that the arts offered the most freedom and self expression with limitless boundaries. At sixteen I made up my mind that I wanted to be an artist.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As a visual artist I have always been attracted to creating things that will stop you for a minute and make you wonder…What is that? Working with various media I often overlap painting, photography, drawing, sculpture and sometimes expand into installation. I always enjoy seeing my work in small groupings the way I see it everyday in the studio. I paint on sheer semi transparent materials like silk organza, tulle and drafting film. My sculpture or installation pieces have included collapsible columns, open books and quilts. Recently I have incorporated my love of the landscape into my pigment prints and organza paintings overlaid with paint made to look almost like beadwork. I feel fortunate to have been able to live a life where both my husband and I have pursued our dreams! We both are realistic and have art related jobs to help support our sometimes eccentric art making. We also both seem to need a room with a view to feed our love of the landscape. From our first dicey duplex rental to our long time home in Duncanville, Texas we have lived looking out on the trees and the creatures of the forest. For me art restoration and conservation with Brown Mountain Restoration has been an incredibly fulfilling career, for him scenic painting for theatre and corporate clients has been at times very rewarding. Like so many artists out there nothing is easy. Always obstacles, I was born a struggler. In tough moments I have to remind myself to just keep putting one foot ahead of the other. As a visual artist who was adopted and knew nothing about their background for many years I would always say to myself be open to all possibilities and assume nothing. I imagined myself to be from everywhere but possibly from nowhere. This has been a continued driving force behind my work and have always felt we must be kind and supportive to one another and treat each other with the utmost respect.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The whole DFW area is filled with wonderful museums and being a museum junkie that is where I would start. On a beautiful day in Dallas we would lunch at the Nasher Sculpture Center which has a wonderful view of their amazing outdoor sculpture garden. After lunch we would walk across the street to the Crow Collection of Asian Art to see the always stunning installations and exhibits. Next stop the Dallas Museum of Art. In pre pandemic days at the DMA I always loved seeing so many people looking at art, especially on late nights. Klyde Warren Park, built over the freeway has lots of food trucks and will lead you to the Perot Museum. A favorite spot for dinner and a drink is across from my restoration job at Brown Mountain Restoration called Fireside Pies!! Lastly I would recommend lunch at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, which overlooks a beautiful reflecting pool and then of course walk through the always exciting exhibitions. Fort Worth’s museum area is also a great way to spend the day. The Amon Carter, The Kimball and the Fort Worth Contemporary Arts Center are all a must see. For night life Deep Ellum has a wonderful history with an incredible variety of music, shops and places to eat. Lots of great things to see and do in DFW!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I need to give a huge shoutout to all my art teachers!!! My high school art teacher Gloria Emslie back in Winnipeg, Canada was great at encouraging us to try different things. Also, while studying at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta when I was 15, I remember watching my painting instructor the late Don Reichert, painting his unrolled canvases on the grass using a garden hose to disperse the paint. This was the kind of experimental painting I wanted to learn more about. I also remember taking art classes after school at the Forum At Centre with Nik Bjelajac who introduced me to one on one art crits that definitely helped prepare me for college. The University of Manitoba, School of Art, where I received my BFA Honors had a great visiting artist program and brought in artists like the late Christo, Laurie Anderson, Lynda Benglis, Judy Chicago and Lucas Samaras. I was able to serve on the visiting artist committee and remember sitting in the front row at Plug In ICA mesmerized watching Laurie Anderson perform with her electric bow. Lastly, NYU study abroad in Venice, Italy had a wonderful Master of Arts program headed by Dr. Angiola Churchill. In our art history classes we traveled to Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel in Padua and experienced the Venice Biennale first hand. I was so inspired by Angiola’s lifelong dedication to education and as well as her ethereal white paper installations. Last but not least a big thank you to my parents as well as Terry Hays who were always so supportive!!

Website: Website – kathyrobinsonhays.com

Instagram: Instagram – @kat_rob_hays

Linkedin: Linkedin – Kathy Robinson-Hays

Facebook: Facebook – Kathy Robinson-Hays

Other: Representation – ro2art.com

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.