The RSM Art Gallery

Current Exhibit

Casey Hayward
Vague Space 
October 2 – November 5, 2019


Artist’s Reception: 
Wednesday, October 16
4:00-6:00 p.m.

Your Protection by Casey Hayward
Your Protection
large print transfer on plywood, scrap wood, syringe caps

Vague Space is a hybrid documentary project and photo-sculptural art installation by Casey Hayward, Associate Professor of English and Media Studies at Bentley University. The components of the work—still photographs and found objects—come from the cities of Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn and Salem, MA. These cities have been hit particularly hard by the opioid epidemic and the exhibit serves to shed light on that environment. Vague spaces are areas right in the middle of civilization that are unused if not forgotten–they can also represent a state of being.

Still photos of anonymous individuals who use opioids or sell drugs and the landscapes they inhabit are printed directly on artifacts collected in the in-between places of these cities. Mattresses, doors, highchairs and other castoff items found in dumpsters, forested areas, back alleys and roadsides become canvases for imagery of a life lived “rough.” Please make time to view the exhibit before it closes on November 5, 2019.

All are invited to a reception for the artist on Wednesday, October 16, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

Casey Hayward: Artist Statement

In my work, be it documentary filmmaking, photography or installation, I seek to explore social justice issues through art, with an appreciation for the imperfection of lived experience. The flaws of humanity often afford a more impactful entrée into the investigation of the world we inhabit.

I am particularly interested in the entropy of cultures, communities and systems. From an aesthetic standpoint, I have always been drawn to rusted metal, rotting wood and other detritus surrounding us. To me this detritus–the less desirable output of our way of life–has a beauty all its own.

I take photographs, interview participants and consider the most effective ways of sharing my work, all with the complexity of imperfection in mind. While I cannot avoid digital technologies due to their ease and ubiquity, I do enjoy physical processes like exposing and developing analog film. I find the process is challenging and introduces flaws based on a myriad of environmental factors and my own abilities. I enjoy the serendipity of “happy accidents.” These can serve to remind viewers that they are experiencing not just a body of work but also a process. Reflexivity in this way is something I instill in much of my work. I trust that participants are keen enough to examine more than just the product, but my role and the problems it can inhere in making the art.

Casey Hayward, Associate Professor
Department of English and Media Studies
Bentley University
chayward@bentley.edu

This project was made possible with the support of the Bentley University Health Thought Leadership Network, Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences and the Department of English and Media Studies.

Past Exhibits

View the blog postings in the art gallery category for archived information about past exhibits.

About the RSM Art Gallery

The RSM Art Gallery at Bentley University is a cultural and educational resource for the entire Bentley community. Located in the Bentley Library, the gallery sponsors six to eight exhibits per year, highlighting the work of emerging New England artists working in a wide range of media.

For more information about the gallery please email Hugh Wilburn, Art Gallery Curator, at hwilburn@bentley.edu.

Visitor Information

Located on the main floor of the Bentley Library, the RSM Art Gallery is free and open to the public when the library is open.  Driving directions and a campus map are available here.