Local filmmaker raising money to capture “God in my fingers”

Artist Ivey Hayes. Photo courtesy of Sheena Vaught.


Sheena A. Vaught, filmmaker for The Ivey Hayes Project. Photo courtesy of Sheena Vaught.

Filmmaker Sheena Vaught has 13 days – just 13 days – to raise the $3,400 she needs to make  a documentary about the life and art of Pender County artist Ivey Hayes.

The 26-year-old graduate of University of North Carolina Wilmington‘s film studies program became interested in Hayes’ artwork as a child. Her mother who is an artist, was a fan of Hayes’ bright paintings of black jazz artists, dancers and scenes of rural Pender County farm life.

“To be young and for him to entrust me with leaving his legacy on film was major. I want to do this right,” Vaught said, adding that she’s started interview for her film around the state.

Her working title is “The Ivey Hayes Project: God in my fingers,” in reference to the artist’s belief that God’s spirit inspires his paintings.

“Hayes has paintings that celebrate, in my opinion, jazz and gospel and all around black American culture in our community,” she said in her introductory video on Kickstarter.com.

For her fundraising, she went to Kickstarter.com, an all-or-nothing funding site for artistic projects where “a project must reach its funding goal before time runs out or no money changes hands.”

“His relationship with God reminds me of my relationship with God,” Vaught added. “I really do think God has led me to Mr. Hayes and this project. The fact that he can paint the way that he does, it’s a miracle.”

Hayes has a degenerative rheumatoid arthritis which has left him with just three bones in his fingers.

For Hayes, doing a documentary of his work as his career closes is about leaving a legacy.

“I want to leave to the next generation work that they can see physically, work that will hopefully inspire them and enlighten them to say, ‘Hey man, I really enjoy this,'” he said in Vaught’s introductory video. “And then they can ask the question what can I do to improve on what now is left before them so they can become better equipped to become better artistic people.”

Amanda Greene: 910-520-3958 or on Twitter @WilmFAVS


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