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Photo of Bill and Jay Hinz

Bill and Jay Hinz



Bill and Jay Hinz, Artists

Bill and Jay Hinz were American contemporary artists who, while working in various media, are known mostly for their modern, stylized hooked rug tapestries. The couple met at a design class at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago (SAIC) in 1946 and three years later, they were married.

In addition to being artists themselves, Bill and Jay both taught in the art fields. Jay taught at the middle school, high school and college/university levels in the U.S. and Mexico for 30 years, most recently at Southwest Missouri State University.

Bill taught design at SAIC for four decades, and was Chairman of the Division of Design, the Craft Department and finally the Fiber/Fabric Department.

For two decades, Jay and Bill focused on creating hooked wall hangings, which the couple marketed under Stuart-Hinz Wallhangings. Although their creativity was inspired by and fed off each other so much that they often couldn’t remember who designed what, Jay tended toward creating more of the abstract designs, while Bill often worked on the abstract people and animals featured in their works.

Most of the Hinz’s hookings were created in the Chicago area in places such as Oak Park, Downers Grove and Lisle in the 1950s through 1970s. Some were made in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico, in 1973 and 1976 (where Jay and Bill taught at various times, and where Bill completed his MFA on sabbatical).

The two created a collection of nearly 50 hookings for the International Playboy Club, most of which were based on musical themes.

Later in life, Jay transitioned into pencil drawings, acrylic paintings and egg temperas based on hyper-realism rather than abstract designs, and Bill worked with direct-dyed fabrics such as velveteen and canvas and, eventually (starting in the 1980s), worked in digital imaging.

Bill and Jay have received numerous awards for their work and have published works in their field, such as “How to Create Your Own Designs” (with Donna Meilach, Doubleday, 1975).

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