Winfred Hawkins’ ‘Comedian’ exhibit opens at TROY’s IAC; Reception set for Feb. 8

Visitors will have an opportunity to meet the artist during a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 8 at the IAC.

Visitors will have an opportunity to meet the artist during a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 8 at the IAC.

A new exhibit of artwork by Montgomery native Winfred Hawkins is now on display at Troy University’s International Arts Center.

In the exhibit “Comedian,” which is guest curated by Paul Barrett, Hawkins highlights the dark humor in his work to address difficult issues. The exhibit will be on display through April 7, and an artist’s reception is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 8. Refreshments will be served during the reception.

“Winfred’s artwork in ‘Comedian’ is a visually compelling mix of analog paintings and graphic design creations, showcasing loose graffiti strokes, as well as intricate digitally designed work,” said Carrie Jaxon, IAC Director. “His work is colorful and inviting and draws in a viewer to discover dark humor references, using symbolism and allegory to talk about difficult social issues that the artist and society observes and confronts.”

Hawkins started drawing at an early age and developed his drafting skills by watching his father draw and by copying animals from nature books. He is a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design and is an active graphic designer/artist/muralist in his hometown, as well as serving as Programs Manager for Arts Revive in Selma. 

After suffering a nerve injury in 2012 that affected both arms, he changed his style considerably to use both hands. Hawkins mostly uses his non-dominant right hand for sketching, but sometimes paints an entire work right-handed. He reserves his left hand for work that is more involved in style, as well as subject matter.

In 2020, Hawkins worked with two other artists to create a mural on the side of The King’s Canvas art studio in Montgomery on historic Oak Street, along the route where hundreds of Selma to Montgomery marchers walked to the state capitol in 1965. Hawkins received the Alabama Artist Award from the Huntsville Museum of Art during the 2020 Red Clay Survey and the BOOM! Magazine Award from the 44th Montgomery Art Guild exhibition at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in 2021.

His work can also be found at TROY’s Rosa Parks Museum, where he was commissioned in 2007 to design ten bronze roundels outside the museum.

Winfred also will present an artist talk on from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on March 20 at the IAC. The event, which is open to the public, will feature a panel discussion including Montgomery artist and business owner Kevin King from The Kings Canvas, as well as curator Jennifer Jankauskas.