Celebrated Oregon Artist Hugh Hayes Exhibit

Posted by OCVA / November 30, 2013

Numerous works by celebrated Oregon artist Hugh Hayes, best known for his whimsical fire prevention characters and caricature maps of Oregon, will be on display at the Tillamook Forest Center through November. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Hayes, who passed away this year, was a draftsman, illustrator, and visual storyteller who worked for the Oregon Department of Forestry for 31 years. His iconic images are well known by many and in his distinctive collection, one can see mischievous flames scampering across the forest floor; illustrated maps of Oregon filled with characters and stories from east to west; and comical fire prevention messages featuring cigarettes with boxing gloves and beavers that grin.

Among his best known works are the “Keep Oregon Green” placemats that were found in restaurants during the 1960s and 1970s.

Hugh Hayes’ work continues to leave a lasting impression with all those who see it. State Forester, Doug Decker, said of Hayes, “Hugh was one-of-a-kind: an incredibly disciplined and talented artist, a self-taught draftsman, a de-facto engineer and forester. His sense of humor and love of Oregon history and forests came through in his art to connect people to forests and to remind them about fire safety. He was Oregon’s popular-art visual story teller.”

As a celebration of Hugh Hayes’ life and work, the public is invited to come experience Hayes’ ability to amuse, educate, and delight in an exhibit that displays his range of talents.

For more information, contact the Tillamook Forest Center at 866.930.4646, or visit the Center on-line at www.tillamookforestcenter.org. The Center is located halfway between Forest Grove and Tillamook on Oregon Highway 6 and is open from 10:00am-4:00pm, Wednesday through Sunday.

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