Artist Stephen Hayes discusses inspiration for “Cash Crop”

The exhibit

The exhibit "Cash Crop" by artist Stephen Hayes is currently on display at the Rosa Parks Museum.

Artist Stephen Hayes sought to capture the horror of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade with the exhibit “Cash Crop,” currently on display at Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum.

Seeing the image of the Brooks slave ship plans moved Hayes to create the installation, which consists of 15 life-size sculptures, each one chained and bound, bearing outlines of the Brooks ship on their backs.

In an interview with Rosa Parks Museum Director Dr. Felicia A. Bell, Hayes described how the exhibit is meant to challenge viewers to consider not only the past, but how people are being exploited today.

“It’s talking about how and where do we go from here, and who is the next cash crop,” Hayes said.

Watch the full segment, produced by Montgomery’s Capital City Connection, and hear more about the exhibit, as well as Hayes background and inspiration as an artist: