Luke Haynes moved from L.A. to Kansas City for a change of pace. Although he originally moved to Northeast Kansas City for affordable housing, he became enamored by it. He found that it really is like family.
“I know all of my neighbors,” said Haynes. “For better or for worse, it’s a community.”
He says this is the reason he has chosen to make Northeast his home.
Haynes brought his unique art style with him to Kansas City, and wants to integrate his art more and more.
As a kid, Haynes said he had trouble concentrating and doing everyday tasks, and he always had to keep his hands busy. That’s how he started quilting. As he grew older, he fell more in love with it. He went to art school, and really focused in on the medium. He was a male force in a mainly female-dominated field.
“There’s certainly a history of women in quilting, and that’s super important,” said Haynes.
But Haynes said he felt men did not have a space in this field, so he created his own.
“The first project I was really proud of, I was putting ‘man stuff’ onto quilts, like hammers, trucks; I wanted to create a sort of aesthetic collision.”
And he did so successfully. Haynes is now known around the world for his quilting portraits. This artistic success has allowed him to explore further in his art.
“It’s always the responsibility of the artist to create their best work every time they make art. That’s what I always strive to do.”
Haynes is most well-known for his quilting, but within the past year, he has committed his time to ceramics.
“Like I said, I needed a change of pace. Not just moving, but I needed to change my medium. I have found ceramics really rewarding. It’s the difference between selling a quilt I worked very hard on for $1,000, and being able to make a cup or a bowl and give it to a friend for nothing. It has more practical use.”
Haynes has probably created a thousand ceramic art pieces in the past year, and he’s working on more. Right now, he’s working on a project of a 100 red cups. When making every cup the same color, he said it pushes him to create different shapes and forces him to think more creatively about each cup he’s creating.
He said he is hoping to integrate the Northeast more and more into his artwork. As he continues quilting, he hopes to go to local thrift shops and use pieces of clothing he finds to physically weave the Northeast into his work.
He also hopes to start a communal art space in the Northeast. He has been looking at spaces he can use to help create a workshop that his community can come to to learn and create their own art.
Next month, he is going to France and England to help teach art classes. He wants to do similar things in the Northeast. He wants to create a space for the neighborhood kids and families which can help them learn, and help him learn more about the Northeast.
“I want to help the community; I want to be helped by the community,” noted Haynes.
To look more at Haynes work you can visit his website at lukehaynes.com. If you have a space you would be interested in sharing with Luke for his communal art project, you can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org