Dena Hawes

Dena Hawes is a multi-media artist who resides in Bloomington, IN. She has taught new genre/sculpture and contemporary art issues at the university level for five years. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally since 1994. She has worked for nonprofits, international non-governmental agencies and universities for over 25 years.

Dena earned a Bachelor's degree from Indiana University, a Master of Fine Arts degree from University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Masters and Doctoral degree from the James and Rosalyn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, George Mason University. From 2001-02 she was a Professional Development Fellow with the Institute for International Education doing Conflict Resolution and Security research in the Republic of Georgia.

Dena is a visual and performance artist, a world record holder, and the author of a book entitled Why Art Matters: Artists and Peacebuilding, Omniscriptum Publishing Group, 2009, a book chapter entitled "Suzanne Lacy: Oakland Projects", Artistic Bedfellows: Histories and Conversations in Collaborative Art Practice, Eds Holly Crawford, Rowman & Littlefield, 2008, and has also published several journal articles and poetry.

Artist’s Statement: 
“My current work combines elements from nature, such as driftwood and creek stones, with metal work. Bound in juxtaposition, the collision of man and nature draw attention to and appreciation of both—as if seeking a peaceful union of materials.

I argue that natural objects found in nature inherently contain different kinds of meaning that are more complex than that of traditional artmaking materials, such as metal and pigment. I find that certain pieces of driftwood and certain found creek stones can act as symbols or pointers to potent memories. They offer a sense of timelessness, as the long-lived processes that wear them down to form evocative shapes, that are themselves, and in my mind, complete with a kind of eternal value. When such shapes become mentally internalized, they form a psychological relationship between life and art.”

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