Art Reception- “Drawings Through Time” by Leon Hicks

Venvi Art Gallery has been proud to present Leon Hicks’ solo exhibition Drawings Through Time from March 1st to April 28th. Aside from his current series of graphite drawings American Boy, select drawings from his series My Home Town, Iconic Capers, and his previously untitled sketches are on display. The opening reception was held on March 15th with a great turnout. Despite Mr. Hicks’ absence at the reception, the life and energy exuded in his graphite drawings was felt by many.

Drawings Through Time showcases numerous drawings and sketches from Mr. Hicks’ decades-long career. These works include his latest series of six graphite drawings titled American Boy, he has since completed 3 more. Selected works from his Iconic Caper series, which features sixteen graphite drawings and works from his series My Home Town, which is composed of five drawings will also be featured. Alongside those series, Drawings Through Time also features some of Mr. Hicks’ previously untitled sketches.

American Boy is Mr. Hicks’ most recent series of graphite drawings. He created these pieces in 2023 and has since made 3 more. Given Mr. Hicks’ extensive career and contributions to the arts, he decided to return to his roots, or metaphorical conception with this series of drawings. Mr. Hicks believes he is born American, before anything else.

My Home Town was also featured in Drawings Through Time. This series of graphite drawings is about Mr. Hicks’ hometown: Gainesville, Florida. This series pays homage to Greco-Roman architecture, synthetic cubism, and various places of importance to the artist. According to Mr. Hicks, this classical antiquity in the buildings’ architecture is a universal symbol of the United States and plays a significant cultural role. It symbolizes the stature, permanence and solidarity of the U.S.

His series Iconic Capers were created in 2006 using his copyrighted monoprint method involving oil pastels, mylar sheets, Elmer’s glue and Thai Unryu paper. Mr. Hicks’ technique for these pieces involves drawing on vellum paper, in the case of these works, mylar sheets. The mylar sheets act as a transfer sheet for when the monoprint is rubbed into the paper of choice. His previously untitled graphite sketches are now called Nude and Pencil Drawing. Nude is called as such due to its depiction of the human figure. Pencil Drawing does not depict a clear subject like Nude, so it is titled as such.

Mr. Hicks’ numerous contributions as an artist and educator throughout his decades long career have left a huge impact on the arts and the black community as well. Despite retiring from teaching, Mr. Hicks is a teacher at heart, and loves to share his passion for the arts with young artists.

Drawings Through Time will be open until April 28th, with Venvi Art Gallery being open Wednesdays through Sundays from 12:30-5:30pm. Venvi Art Gallery is located at 2901 East Park Avenue Tallahassee, FL 32301. For more information about Drawings Through Time and Leon Hicks’ works, visit www.venviartgallery.com.