A native of Rupert, West Virginia, Max Hayslette has enjoyed a diverse and successful career in the field of art that has spanned nearly seven decades. A 1951 graduate of the American Academy of Art in Chicago, with post-graduate study at the Art Institute of Chicago, he began his professional life working as a commercial designer in the Windy City where he remained until accepting a job as design coordinator for the Alaska Pavilion at the 1962 Worlds Fair in Seattle. He remained in the Seattle area founding his own commercial design firm, Olympus Graphics, before turning to painting as a full-time occupation in the early 1970's. Hayslette's work is represented today in more than 300 private, corporate and public collections. Through a collaboration with Grande Image gallery of Seattle, fine quality reproductions of his paintings have been distributed worldwide. In addition to hanging in literally thousands of banks, hotels and other commercial buildings, his work has been carried by Walmart, Target and a host of other retailers.
Included in this exhibit are 18 recent paintings that show two sides of Max Hayslette; the romantic landscape painter, and the abstract expressionist. While the two styles may seem disparate, for Hayslette they are essentially the same, both resulting from the same intellectual process. Max Hayslette's generous gift of these paintings to the West Virginia Regional History Center and WVU students, faculty and staff makes this exhibit possible.