The art of Al Hawkins is that of a storyteller. Every piece within his stunning collection tells a human story of the almost imperceptible moments that make up the bulk of our lives. They tell the stories of quiet introspection, or comfortable silences between those who know each other well. Al finds stories not in the obvious, but in that which is unspoken and uneventful – the true moments that feed our spirits, sustain our souls and ultimately define who we are.
Perhaps his instincts to celebrate the ordinary were honed in contrast to an extraordinary life. From the influences of “old school” parents, to the “old world” ways of his grandparents. . . from the primary education of the Kansas City, Missouri Public School System, to the privileged studies at The Kansas City Art Institute. . . from the unpretentious existence of summers spent in rural Eufaula, Oklahoma under the care of his great grandmother; to the consummate education of Drake University (BFA) and the tutelage of renowned German artist, Karl Mattern and ultimately that of Chicago artist, Calvin Jones, Al’s exposure to and experiences with the diverse people and lifestyles he has known have all become the well from which his inspiration springs. Within recent years, Al has expanded his storytelling expression to include documentary filmmaking. His latest film, “The Will to Survive: The Story of the Gullah/Geechee Nation” on which Al served as director and executive producer, has won both national and international acclaim. Al Hawkins is a master storyteller. Spend some time with his universally familiar and deeply personal work and soon, the enchantment of these quiet life scenes will tell you a story, too.
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