Nade Haley at the Frieze Art Fair in 2014. Photo courtesy Stacy Greene
Professor Nade Calmes Haley, Experimental and Foundation Studies, passed away at Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn on April 21, 2016. She was born in Greenville, South Carolina on December 13, 1947. She and her parrot Darwin lived a migratory life between her homes in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and Brooklyn. RISD will hold a memorial on Wednesday, 18th May starting at 5:00PM in the Nature Lab.
Haley received her BFA from the Atlanta College of Art and her MFA from Washington University. Prior to coming to RISD she taught at Washington University, Western Michigan University and Montgomery College. She first taught at RISD as an adjunct faculty member in 1983 and joined the full-time faculty in 1993. She was promoted to Professor in 2001 and served as the most recent Chair of the Wintersession Committee. Haley was well respected by her colleagues as a strong and generous professor of Spatial Dynamics and was loved by her students for her honest, knowledgeable, and supportive approach to teaching. Haley was the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the NEA, and multiple grants from RISD’s Professional Development Fund. She exhibited her work in solo shows across the country from New York City to Houston and her work is held in private and public collections such as Lehniner Institut in Berlin and Long Island University. She created large public works at Lehman College and at the Neil Smith Federal Building in Des Moines, Iowa, which writ large her lifelong fascination with the patterns created by the interplay of light and shadow and her passionate biophilia. She showed her work most recently this year in a group show at Sideshow Gallery in Brooklyn and a solo show in December 2015 at Art 101, also in Brooklyn.
Haley’s practice and pedagogy was informed by the natural sciences, politics, and a profound knowledge of and respect for materials and tools from the most essential hand held tools to digital ones. She reveled in quiet studio time on her own but found energy and solace in working with like-minded artists from the time when she corralled fellow undergraduates to create an earthwork that was both sculptural and effective conservation to a recent reunion of ArtPark alumni. Haley embraced dichotomies and found guidance in these words of her teacher the Buddhist nun Pema Chodron “We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart.”
Nade is survived by her brother Jeff Haley and her sister Cain Haley. She will be missed by her friends, family, colleagues and students. Details regarding a ceremony of remembrance for her, tentatively scheduled for May 18, will be published in the Academic Affairs newsletter.