E. C. Hanes

E. C. Hanes, known to his friends as “Redge,” has been a longtime champion for environmental, political, and artistic causes. In 1988, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), the sponsoring organization for the Awards in the Visual Arts national juried competition, organized an exhibit which included a photo titled “Piss Christ” by Andres Serrano. This exhibit, as well as one of photos by Robert Mapplethorpe, so angered Jesse Helms, the senior senator from North Carolina, that he led an attack against the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for its participation in these programs. As a board member of the American Arts Alliance, one of the primary advocates for the arts in America, and the grandson of the man whose home houses SECCA, Hanes was selected to meet with Senator Helms on behalf of the Arts Alliance and the NEA. These meetings, together with a letter from the American Family Association, introduced Hanes to the world of Washington power politics as well as the influence of television evangelism on that world. Hanes draws on these personal experiences, coupled with his own earlier run for the N.C. state senate, to create Billy Bowater. He lives in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Books from Blair

Billy Bowater (Rane Coat Press)