I think about how place and land inform a sense of what is possible, who we are, what we can become, and how we get there. I make work leaning into a gritty subconscious, using remnants like ghosts, considering an inclusive yet complicated path. The work functions like how a folded map relates to a pocket, holding potential to be a locative device, to consider consequences, and ask questions, including and beyond self-reflexivity.

My abstraction is partly influenced by the rural vernacular of the American South. Systems/grids become a scaffold for pictorial inclinations associated with an architecture; awnings, slats, fences, weathered boards and lumber. Textiles and reclaimed material and fabrics, associated with warmth, the body, pattern, domesticity and weave inform the work. Through this core iconography of the grid, stripes and repetition I am making a new world and asking the viewer to believe in it, like camouflage.


Jodi Hays (b. 1976, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, United States of America) is a painter whose work is partly influenced by a southern/rural vernacular. Her work has been exhibited internationally including at the Wiregrass Museum, Michael Price Contemporary (Boston) and The Brooks Museum (Memphis). In addition to her work as a painter, Jodi was a founding member of COOP curatorial collective.

She is the recipient of grants from Sustainable Arts Foundation, Tennessee Arts Commission, and the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation. She is a 2019 Finalist for the Hopper Prize. Her works are included in collections of the J. Crew Company (New York), Nashville International Airport, National Parks of America, Gordon College (MA), the Tennessee State Museum, among others. Residencies include The Cooper Union School of Art and Vermont Studio Center. Her work is documented in six exhibition catalogues, and has been positively reviewed in Art Forum International, New Art Examiner, the Nashville Scene, Burnaway and Sharon Butler’s Two Coats of Paint. She is represented by Red Arrow Gallery (Tennessee) and Show and Tell (South Carolina).