Hicks versatile talents
include photography, woodwork
was juried into the
Indiana Artisan Project in 2008
(April 2009) Many business and home owners
in Madison, Ind., know well the dedication and mastery Matt Hicks brings
to his construction contracting business. More people are realizing,
however, that Hicks true talent may lie in his work with fine
arts photography and woodworking.
Hicks custom made furniture
is in the Shaker tradition but
with a modern twist to it.
Recently, Hicks, 37, was juried into the exclusive Indiana
Artisan Project for his work in large-format photography. The program
was formed in 2008 through a collaborative state effort to showcase
and market Indianas high-quality artisan works. Out of the 450
artisans who applied, only 85 passed the rigorous jurying process.
His work is currently on display at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis
in the Indiana Artisan Projects Off the Walls premiere
Hicks, who has been involved in construction work since he was 16 years
old, fell in love with photography while a student at Indiana University
in Bloomington. After one trip to the darkroom, he changed his major
and graduated with a bachelors degree in Fine Arts in photography
In 1998 and 1999, while still a student at Indiana University, he entered
the Photographers Forum, the national College
Photographer of the Year competition. Although there were more
than 28,000 entries each year, he was selected both times as a finalist
in the competition.
After college, he took a long hiatus, which included a stint in the
U.S. Army, from his artistic endeavors. He started his construction
company, The Woodshop LLC., four years ago after working for numerous
years with other contractors. Although he does work as a general contractor,
he has also become a specialist in historic renovation and remodeling.
He was recently asked to sit on Ivy Tech Community Colleges Historic
Preservation Curriculum Committee. The college is designing a program,
which may eventually include a degree track, in historic preservation.
Just recently, Hicks completed a six-year, extensive,
ground-up renovation on his 19th century home. Originally a duplex,
he has turned part of the house into a workshop, office and darkroom.
He now is ready to let people know about the rest of his talents.
I want to spend the rest of my days creating, said Hicks.
I dont want to quit what I am already doing; instead, I
simply want to expand my creative offerings and let people know what
else I can do.
When it comes to photography, he enjoys photographing architecture,
landscapes and rural scenes. I look for scenes that give a feel
for the rural countryside or that show the pace of life there,
said Hicks. He is also interested in the spirit and place in nature
and is working on using his artistic creativity to convey those concepts.
In addition to his construction work and his fine arts photography,
Hicks is also a talented woodworker. He can create just about anything
from wood, including elaborate wooden decks, cabinetry and custom furniture.
His furniture is modeled after the Shaker style, but with a modern twist.
Hicks can do creative things with concrete and metal, too. His concrete
counter-tops are themselves are considered a work of art.
When a client gives me creative freedom, we can have fun,
he said. If a person has a unique need, I can design and construct
what they want.
Eric Freeman, who heads the Indiana Artisan Project for the Indiana
Tourism Department, said Hicks is a versatile artist, with talent in
both woodworking and photography. He has great goals and equally
great talent in both areas, he said.
It is important for Hicks to let people know he is very green-conscious
and environmentally responsible. I try to be very careful
when I work to do the right thing because its just right,
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