Gene Hatfield was born on November 23, 1925 in Conway, Arkansas. After high school, Mr. Hatfield served in the U.S Army during World War II and was discharged in 1944. He attained a BS in Education degree in Speech and English from the Arkansas State Teacher’s College (now UCA) in 1948, followed by a Master’s degree in art education from Colorado State College of Education (now University of Northern Colorado) . That same year, he began teaching art at the Arkansas State Teacher’s College (UCA) until his retirement in 1985. During his tenure at UCA, Mr. Hatfield taught classes in drawing, painting, sculpture, crafts, design, art history and art appreciation. He traveled frequently to Europe in the summer, where he worked on his art and studied with Henri Goetz and Leo Marchutz in France, and at the Fuller Art Studio in Saint Ives, England. Mr. Hatfield works primarily in collage, painting and sculpture and is influenced by surrealism and folk art. This is evident in the sculpture work found on the grounds of his Conway home. Mr. Hatfield’s yard is filled with his sculpture created with found objects, many of which were photographed and registered with the Smithsonian Institution’s Save Outdoor Sculpture program. Though retired for many years, Mr. Hatfield remained active in the arts by creating new works and helping students and other artists in the area.
Mr. Hatfield passed away on February 18, 2017 at the age of 91.