Through the Lens

Madison’s Hicks to display
photography talent in Vevay

First Friday activities include
free carriage rides, live music

Staff Report

VEVAY, Ind. (August 2011) – Matt Hicks’ photography is as much about process as it is about the finished product. The Madison, Ind., resident and Indiana Artisan photographer will display his talent in August as the featured artist at “Of Switzerland County” Gallery, located at 128 W. Main Street.

Matt Hicks

Photo provided

Madison artist
Matt Hicks creates
artwork that reflects
the connectivity
between people and
the natural environment.

An opening reception is set from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Aug. 5, which is Vevay’s “First Friday” event. The public and all are invited to meet the artist during the reception.
“I incorporate the history and feel of Southern Indiana into my work. I want people to be drawn to this area like I am. I’ve lived in several different states, but this feels like home,” said Hicks.
“Photography for me is about relaxing into nature and just observing. Working in large format means you have to wait for the moment and let the photo come to you,” Hicks said. “The light changes are so numerous, even in an hour. It is impressive to watch and capture.”
Hicks fell in love with photography while a student at Indiana University – Bloomington. After one trip to the darkroom, he changed his major and graduated with a BSA in photography and sculpture. While he started with a 35mm camera, Hicks soon switched to the large-format camera because he enjoyed the control and patience required.
He finds serenity in the darkroom as well where he develops and prints his own black-and-white photos. It is here that he manipulates the images, determining where to place the dark tones and the highlights.
“It may be a relic to work without Photoshop, but I think developing film is a lost art,” he says.
Hicks’ work includes what he calls the “old type farmer feel,” although he is currently working on a series that focuses on spirituality and place. “I want my work to reflect the beauty of nature. A lot of us are missing the magic right outside the window. I’m trying to provide something that is an alternative to high tech. My work is about our connection to the Earth. I create work that directly reflects our physical, mental, and spiritual connection to our environment.”
Through the use of large format photography and the zone system, Hicks is able to manipulate reality and produce an image that has been visualized in his mind’s eye first.
“I try to incorporate handmade wooden frames into all of my work in order to further personalize my work and reaffirm our reliance on our environment. The act of being in nature and creating is the true drive behind my work.”
No reservations are needed for the opening and the public is invited to attend.  Enjoy dulcimer music by Bill Wiseman. Other activities in town that evening include free carriage rides, dining, open studios, and live music on the street.

• For more information, contact the “Of Switzerland County” Store at (812) 427-3237 or email angiesatterfield@vevayin.com.

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