Sonder is a visual representation of the existential crisis that individuals only have one perspective from which reality can be viewed. This creates a disconnect between ourselves and every other human because we will never experience another perspective apart from our own. The portraits communicate this concept through realistic renderings that have been skewed by sanding, glazes, and thick layers of paint. It is representative of the lens that warps and distorts our perspective of others because of the inability to escape our own consciousness.

Thematically, I borrow heavily from John Koenig’s definition of sonder, being “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own…” To inhabit another consciousness is something we will never experience in this life, but I find it vital to consider with frequency in order to empathize with others. My work is a reminder for people to constantly keep in mind that you are viewing people through your subconscious lens which obscures your perception of others.

Ignoring the fact that this filter exists is much like Jean Paul Sartre description of looking at somebody through a keyhole. When you see another person through a small opening, because they cannot see you, the entity becomes void of its own consciousness. However, in order to sympathize with others, we cannot continue to look at people as objects. The dehumanizing aspect of imagining somebody else as a thing allows us to treat others without an understanding of an alternative perspective.  It can become easy to judge others, distance them from yourself, find fault in their actions and justification in your own, but for every person, their life choices are as distinct and clear as yours and by understanding this, we can better understand each other.


Eirianeth Claire Hays

581 Branding Iron Lane

Castle Rock, CO, 80104



2017               Bachelors of Fine Arts in painting, Metropolitan State University of Denver, CO

2012               Diploma from Castle View High School, Castle Rock, CO

Group Exhibitions

2017              965 Gallery, Metropolitan State University BFA Thesis Show, Denver CO

                      Metropolitan State University Art Office, Time Part 2, Denver CO

2016              965 Gallery, Time,  Juried by Tommy McLaughlin and Hannah Emmons, Denver CO

                      Denver Printmaking Gallery, Juried by Ashley Nason, Denver CO

                      Urban Landscape Show Administration Building, MSU, Denver CO

2015              Urban Landscape Show, Student Success Building, MSU, Denver CO

                      Robert Strohmer Exhibition Space, MSU Juried by Jacob Custer, Denver CO

                      MSU Denver Drawing Exhibition Space, Juried by Geneve Parish, Denver CO

Public Art

2017              Mural in the Student Success Building, MSU Denver CO

2016              Mural at Su Teatro Cultural Arts Center, Denver CO

                      Mural at the Tack Shack, Littleton, CO

Professional Experience

2017               Volunteer for Walker Fine Art Gallery, Denver CO 80104

2016-Present Canvas and Cocktails original paintings, Denver CO and Centennial CO

2016-Present Secretary and Member of Vicious Dog Print Club, Denver CO

Publications and Collections

2016           Meghanne Shipe, Metropolitan State University of Denver Newsroom

                   Matt Jenkins, Collabertation experiment