Artist in Residence Creates Time Capsule

Haylee Bolinger

PHOTO | Olivia Orr

Haylee Bolinger, Windgate Foundation artist in residence for spring 2023, is encouraging Tech students and the Russellville community to submit photos of their favorite items to be portrayed on a time capsule mural on the small building south of Norman Hall.

Bolinger will design the mural herself with the submissions she receives. Members of the community can submit their photos until March 11.

Bolinger moved to Arkansas in January to take on this position at Tech. Previously, she lived on the West Coast, where she gained an education and created her own projects and businesses.

“I’m from Wyoming. I got my undergraduate degree from the University of Wyoming in visual fine arts, and then I got my master’s in sculpture at Arizona State,” Bolinger said. “I’ve been in Los Angeles for the last 10 years, making art and working, starting various businesses. I have a dog walking business and a small gallery there.”

Bolinger’s art gallery is called Carlos Queso Gallery, and her dog-walking business empathizes with her love for animals.

“I love animals,” she said. “I’ve had the question, can people submit pictures of their dogs for the time capsule. I’m a sucker for that, so I will probably put a few cats and dogs in there. It’s hard to say no to a beloved furry friend.”

As for her art, Bolinger has a deep appreciation for sculpting.

“I really love sculpture. There’s something about it that, to me, is unlike any other medium. I also like welding a lot, so it’s just like that instant gratification of finding some stuff, welding it together, and calling it good,” Bolinger said. “Whereas if you’re doing a painting, you’re like, ‘that’s not done until it’s just right.'”

While she gravitates more toward sculpting, the time capsule will be a painted mural; however, she looks forward to putting together a piece that portrays the community’s favorite things.

“I love looking at people’s collections, and I do a lot of watercolor paintings, so I like to do these little watercolor paintings of people’s collections. So, if you collect pigs, I’ll paint all your little pigs—stuff like that. I just get excited about what people get excited about, and I think that’s what makes the artwork more interactive,” Bolinger said. “So, I proposed that it be this thing that people will send their favorite things, and we’ll make a collection basically of Russellville’s or Arkansas’s favorite things. I appreciate the heart and soul that people put on those objects or feel about them.”

Bolinger encourages the community to send any of their favorite items. So far, she has received a variety of different objects.

“I’ve gotten a pair of boots, a lunch box, a couple of stuffed animals, a really cool brass bell that looks like a woman,” she said. “Varying things, totally opposite sizes, and I’m excited about that. That’s what I’m looking for. I want to open it up so people understand that it’s really anything you want.”

For Bolinger, the time capsule is about involvement and representing the community in a special way.

“I think with something like this; you can feel a little more involved. You could come to see your object, and ten years from now, you can go back and look at it. I think it’s the nostalgia of it that’s exciting, for my piece specifically,” Bolinger said. “It’s a testament of who you were, who you collectively were at that time. I think that the significance of that is invaluable.”