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Local Artists Live: Winfred Hawkins
November 14, 2020; 10:00 AM–10:30 AM CST
This weekend, tune in to Local Artists Live to hear from the multitalented Winfred Hawkins. You may already be familiar with Winfred from his recent collaborative work on the striking mural adorning The King’s Canvas, or perhaps from his “opposite hand” series of artwork titled Reality is Not Real, dedicated to those living with dyslexia and shining a light on complexities they encounter daily.
Born and raised in Montgomery, Winfred was often encouraged by his mother Sandra to explore creativity through many different outlets, including origami, Legos, art, and crafts. Winfred shares, “I have always been creating…Most days I was left alone so I would just experiment with anything I could get my hands on.” Winfred also recalls that his interest in art was initially inspired by his dad, how “every so often I would sit next to him and try to copy what he did.” Winfred kept these interests in art and painting, and ultimately went on to earn his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from The Savannah College of Art and Design.
“Don’t be afraid” are what Winfred considers the wisest words ever spoken to him. This statement—stemming from a chance conversation with strangers where they were discussing relationships—may seem simple. The concept, however, can be seen throughout Winfred’s art, where he appears to freely express his feelings without fears restricting his creativity. Read on below to learn more about Winfred, and tune in Saturday, November 14, at 10 AM on the MMFA’s Instagram to hear more from the artist himself about his art and process!
Above left: Winfred Hawkins, Pieta (In memory of George Stiney, Jr.), Mixed Media on wood panel (acrylic, spray paint, digital, ink), 48” x 31.5”
This program is part of the series:
Meet the Artist
What is your favorite thing about living in the South?
I’m not sure exactly how to answer this question. I have a very mixed opinion about the South in general. I would say that living in the South really gives you the opportunity to understand who and why you are. The quietness and slow-moving nature of the South gave me the ability to be alone with my own thoughts and examine them.
What excites you most about the growth of Montgomery’s art scene?
The most exciting thing is to see that younger artists are starting to be more confident in themselves. We are becoming more honest about what we choose to paint. I see a lot fewer landscapes and still lifes in Montgomery’s future.
What are some works of art from the MMFA’s collection that inspire you?
- Mutter und Tuchter, 1993, oil on linen by Gary Chapman
- As a child, I thought that this was the most realistic and powerful thing. It’s a more modern look. I have never really been a huge fan of artwork by dead people from hundreds of years ago.
- Red Fish, 1990, oil on canvas by Leonard Koscianski.
- As a child, I used to stare at this piece until the colors vibrate and the fish pops out like one of those 3d optical illusion Images
Both of these images have very bold colors. I do not remember my childhood being very colorful so these images really stood out to me.
What piece of art that you have created is your favorite, and why?
There are three specific works of art.
- A painting I did in high school called “Right Side Down”
- An ep I recorded called “A Way Out“
- There is also a self-portrait I did while in college. It was done with a ballpoint pen.
These pieces are not my favorites because of what they look like, but because they represent a huge mental shift in my development as a human being. They symbolize a change of thought. A launchpad for a new way of being previously unknown to me.
Do you have an all-time favorite work of art, and have you seen it in person? If you have, how did you feel in the moment?
I do not. It may be strange to say, but I’m not that emotionally attached to physical works of art.
These days I’m more intrigued to know about the person that made it.
Tell us about your most preferred place to be on Earth. What role, if any, has the energy of that place helped shape you as an artist?
“Preferred Place.” Being lost in my own mind. I am that “preferred place.” I take it everywhere I go. There is an inner energy that, if you can tap into it, will bring things out of you that you may not have thought possible.
What drives your creativity?
Life experiences, psychology, history, social issues, religion
What is your preferred medium?
Graphite pencil, ink, charcoal pencil
Do you listen to any particular music when you create?
Yes. The music I listen to usually does not have words and is urban in nature.
I used to play music for a while so I listen to all kinds of music. The one theme is that there are usually no words. Some of this is because I am dyslexic. The other reason is that most lyrics these days are not very poetic and are very typical. Music that allows me to “get lost” or go to my “preferred place” is what I listen to.
Miles Davis- “Kind of Blue”, “Bitches Brew”
Animals As Leaders
Dawn Of Midi
The Comet Is Coming
What advice would you give to beginning artists?
Google and Youtube are your friends. Do not be afraid of truth and knowledge. Not knowing is not an excuse for not being able to find out. Do not stay starstruck over a particular technique or style. Take a second to actually analyze and figure it out. “Style” is a conscious choice, not a crutch. Stay humble and do not be offended by criticism of any kind. Stay curious at all times.