Jen Wink Hays

Jen Wink Hays Press: Our Newest Artist Crush Takes Us on a Tour of Her Light-Filled Philadelphia Studio, September 28, 2019 - Fiorella Valdesolo

Our Newest Artist Crush Takes Us on a Tour of Her Light-Filled Philadelphia Studio

September 28, 2019 - Fiorella Valdesolo

“My studio is open and flexible, which works really well for my process,” says Philadelphia-based artist Jen Wink Hays, whose paintings and sculptures feature a compelling interplay of forms and colorways (think: sage, burnt sienna, and ochre with a shot of Schiaparelli pink). Her airy space, a series of conjoined classrooms within a sprawling old schoolhouse, is set up with various zones so Hays can juggle a few projects at once—of which there are many.

Jen Wink Hays Press: Artsy: Playing Field: A Conversation with Jen Wink Hays, March 16, 2018 - Amy Rahn

Artsy: Playing Field: A Conversation with Jen Wink Hays

March 16, 2018 - Amy Rahn

"The paintings in “Playing Field” have a spread, out, dynamic quality that makes me think of a freeze frame at a sporting event, as if the figures are engaged in some sort of physical interplay with a set of rules and a clear boundary line. I have always explored various groupings and densities of forms as a way of creating a visual story and dynamic tension in my paintings. In this body of work, I have moved away from more complex, interlocking color zones to more solid, simple backgrounds. With a simplified color “field,” I have been able to highlight the drama, movement and interrelatedness between forms."

Jen Wink Hays Press: Seeing between the layers with Jen Wink Hays’ Vacationland show, March 30, 2017 - Nico Kos Earle

Seeing between the layers with Jen Wink Hays’ Vacationland show

March 30, 2017 - Nico Kos Earle

“Passion lies between one mark and the next, and also within all of them.” Howard Hodgkin

Jen Wink Hays paints with the canvas flat on her studio table, peering down into its emergent world like a bird in the sky. Playful and beguiling, her paintings and works on paper induce a sense of wonder, curiosity and even elation. It is a feeling akin to looking out of the airplane window flying high above the clouds, perhaps en route to a favourite place. The eye searching, the mind wandering and the heart dreaming, hence the title to her first show opening in Miami at Art Bastion on the 22nd of April: Vacationland.

The Process of Subtraction – Paintings by American Artist Jen Wink Hays

December 14, 2016 - Mark Robinson

Jen Wink Hays is from Maine and now lives and works in the relative calm of Philadelphia with her husband, fellow painter and designer Tyler Hays. The American artist uses opaque oil paint to obscure earlier layers of colour and form, creating what she calls “a-story-within-a-story” experience. The layers allow her to explore the idea of concealing and revealing, both adding and taking away to reveal a story behind the piece.

Although the works are abstract they’re not conventional by any means, this method of obscuring gives them a unique twist that I’ve not seen before. Some even come across as pixelated because of the small bite-sized coloured squares.

Jen Wink Hays Press: At Home With Minted Artist Jen Wink Hays, June  9, 2016

At Home With Minted Artist Jen Wink Hays

June 9, 2016

Hailing from a small town in Maine, Jen Wink Hays barely touched a paintbrush before moving to New York City for college. She began painting while studying at Barnard College, where she completed a dual major in Visual Arts and Art History. Following graduation, Hays went on to establish Utility Design, a NYC-based design firm, and Blue School, a progressive, independent school in lower Manhattan.

With a passion for exploring naturally occurring patterns, and finding the commonalities and contrasts between the natural and the man-made, Hays’ unique perspective is quite evident in her works. Today, the artist spends her days painting, full-time, and raising her three little ones (plus two dogs!) along with her husband, Tyler. Here, Hays, touches on her inspirations and the two things she simply can’t live without.