Alan Emerson Hicks was born in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Lindblom Technical High School and received a Bachelor's of Fine Art Degree from Illinois State University. Studying sculpture at ISU gave him the opportunity to work with a very progressive and avant-garde professor, Catherine Johnson. A recent graduate student of Rutgers University, she turned her sculpture class into a multi-media work experience, emphasizing spatial relationships. While in school he also studied woodworking, metal smithing, drawing and printmaking. After graduating he decided to begin his career as an artist. He found a fascination with beads and jewelry making initially, making mostly necklaces that used macrame techniques with glass, clay, brass and semi-precious stone beads. After a few years of collecting and stringing beads he made the decision to start sculpting again, he used the techniques learned while jewelry making to make large textured and heavily painted wall pieces (wall jewelry). These wall sculptures had themes of gods, mythological creatures and folklore. This work was gratifying but didn't connect him to the passion his work had to offer
In 2000 Alan met a poet/musician Daniel Godston who challenged him to produce performance art. Although he had studied a little performance art in school, he didn't feel comfortable with the medium. He did like the challenge and idea of creating a new kind of art form. The first performance was a disaster, but it did connect him to the passion that was missing from the earlier pieces. There was an immediacy with the performance pieces and they didn't use paint, a material he would later stop using in his sculpture. The performance art pieces would be developed into works he calls "temporal sculptures." These temporal sculptures would also influence his studio work as well, becoming fiber art sculptures. It was his passion for work that looks immediate that would drive him. He also enjoys working in front of an audience. Themes of gods and mythology are still used in his studio work. Ideas of magic and the manipulation of time are used in the performance pieces. "If you make art wholeheartedly, it will inform you of the direction it should take. Artist receive from art exactly what they put into their art form." Alan feels the most important aspect of creating art is making art.
To find out more about Alan, visit www.peterjonesgallery.com/Alan/alan.htm