Photo | Tara Espinoza
“My mom had just bought a giant white tablecloth for our dining room table, and I remember coloring all over that when I was about 3 years old,” Jade Hoyer, 2021 Windgate Foundation artist at Tech, said.
Originally a resident from Denver, Colorado, Hoyer was named the Artist in Residence five months ago and was busy last semester crafting her way around campus and Russellville. She taught drawing classes, mentored students, and created a community mural project for the Pope County Library.
The project now displayed in the library is titled “A Community Effort” because students from Sequoyah Elementary School and Oakland Heights Elementary School got to help create the mural.
“From a personal standpoint, I want to emphasize that it was work that I certainly was invested in and took authorship of over the semester, but it also involved the engagement and support of a lot of people. I counted over 360 kids who were involved in this,” she said.
“I got a lot of help from so many people, especially the Department of Art, but also from parties in the City of Russellville. So it was significant to do work that reflected this community,” she said.
When Hoyer first came to Russellville, she signed up for traditional crafting of the Ozarks, including quilting.
“Creating work using paper quilt squares seemed like a cool way to be able to kind of play with color and to reflect on the craft tradition of the Ozark Mountains,” she said. The project is handmade paper with a repetition of patterns and colors.
“The most challenging elements of the project were the nature of making paper and picking the colors. If we wanted to change a hue, we needed to make more paper. It was not just simply choosing a different crayon, for example,” Hoyer said.
The mural in the public library holds a special place for her: she said.
“I think the venue also worked out personally for me on so many levels. Before he retired, my father was a librarian, so libraries, especially the children’s library, were a beloved part of my childhood experience.”
She notes that sustainability and the environmental aspect of her artwork are essential.
“I am a firm believer in growing where you are planted. I found using quilting paper could allow me to use small pieces of fabric that would be tossed away.”
Hoyer earned a bachelor of arts degree in studio art and a master of fine arts with an emphasis in printmaking. She gets inspired by craft activist Willam Morris and the painter Kehinde Wiley, and she is starting to explore floral patterns and portraiture to create some neon-colored wallpaper.
Hoyer discovered her love for art at 3 years old and has made a career out of that love. Right now, she is working on projects that are abstract landscapes. To follow her career, go to jadehoyer.com.