About the Artists

Originally from Durham, NC; Expert Sculptor,Instructor, and Award Winning Artist Stephen Hayes has a deeply rooted passion for visual art. Hayes has a successful record of teaching, art conservation,and professional individual and group exhibitions. With his advanced knowledgeof sculpture, fabrication, ceramics, metal working, blacksmithing, and exhibitinstillation, Hayes prefers to be known as a “creator” and not as just an artist.

Saba Taj is an interdisciplinary artist based in Durham NC. Taj’s work ruminates on Muslims, monsters, and nazar*, often in the wake of apocalypse, and speculates on the boundaries between life forms and our evolutionary/spiritual potential for porousness and hybridity. Saba is currently the post-MFA fellow with the Documentary Diversity Project at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. She is the former Director of The Carrack Modern Art in Durham, featured speaker for TEDxDuke 2017, and a founding member of Durham Artists Movement. Taj received her BA in Art Education from North Carolina Central University, and an MFA in Studio Art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Max Symuleski is an artist, writer, and PhD Candidate in the Computational Media, Arts & Cultures Program at Duke.  They are currently writing a critical-aesthetic investigation of the role of maintenance labor in life and art under the governance of neoliberal capital.  Max has a background in visual arts, queer nightlife and performance, amateur tinkering, and professional academic administration. They hold an MA ('12) in Historical Studies from the New School for Social Research and a BA ('05) with a concentration in Art Theory and Visual Arts from Sarah Lawrence College. Max lives in Durham. Sinan Goknur is an artist and PhD Candidate in the Computational Media, Arts & Cultures Program at Duke.  Sinan’s academic work investigates a new return to the social in the arts through queer and feminist aesthetics after the 1980 military coup in Turkey.  Prior to coming to Duke, Sinan was a member of the MAW, an artist collective in Minneapolis, MN seeking to activate public engagement with art and politics through impromptu outdoor performances and large-scale mixed media projections.