“I Am a Man Inspired” art exhibition opens February 4
In honor of Black History Month and to showcase the incredible talents of three local African-American artists, the Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville will present “I Am a Man Inspired” beginning February 4 – March 10. The art exhibition will feature the works of Roy Hawkins, John Jarrett and Floyd Mask; three incredible Haywood County talents with very distinctive styles. The artists will be honored at a reception Saturday, February 20, when they will answer questions and discuss what inspires their art. The exhibit and reception are presented free to the public.
The works presented in this exhibition are as varied and eclectic as the artists themselves, each drawing from life experiences and imagination to express their creativity.
“The works of these gentlemen are so different,” says Sonia Outlaw-Clark, director of the Center. “All three have lived in the same community for the majority of their lives, yet you see in their paintings that life have not been similar. Each has managed to use their personal experiences as fuel for their creativity and you can’t help but look at each piece and wonder what inspired it.”
Roy Hawkins Jr., is a native Haywood Countian with a Fine Arts degree and degree in Art Education. The 38-year-old art teacher is also a published model and actor. He has worked in several feature films and TV shows including Nashville, Have and the Have Nots, Mockingjay, and Alvin and The Chipmunks. In 2013, he traveled to Florence, Italy, to study art and digital photography at the Florence University of the Arts and participated in his first international exhibition “A Nod is as Good as a Wink.”
Hawkins began drawing in the first grade but didn’t begin painting as his primary art expression until 2012 “when I began going through several personal crisis.” he explains. “Painting became a cathartic experience which allowed me to work through stress.”
Fifty-six year old John Jarrett Sr., still lives and works in his native Haywood County. He is a self-taught artist with no formal art education. He works entirely with acrylics and explains his ideas “come from sketches and photographs made on location.” His paintings are an insight into the lives and times of people and places of the South. His works are simple compositions, yet his use of deep, rich colors gives a feeling of warmth and genuineness.
“I tell people that I went to God University,” says Jarrett. “I’ve been blessed with a magnificent talent.”
Floyd Mask Jr., is not a Haywood native but his mother was and he has lived and worked in Brownsville since 1985 after serving five years in the Marines. He has no formal art training and credits his talent to “God gave me a gift.” The 55-year-old father of two sons gets his inspiration from his surroundings and current events using whatever medium he can find to express his creativity.
“My family, pastor and friends have encouraged me to keep painting throughout the years,” says Mask. Often he is asked to paint portraits or recreate favorite photographs for friends and co-workers.
“I Am a Man Inspired” will open Thursday, February 4 and remain on exhibition until March 10. It can be viewed daily Monday – Friday, 9-5 and Sundays, 1-5. For more information, visit www.westtnheritage.com, call the Center at 731-779-9000 or email [email protected].
About the Center: The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center offers a refreshing Southern experience showcasing the history and culture of rural West Tennessee. Inside visitors can learn about the history of cotton, explore the scenic and “wild” Hatchie River and get to know the legendary musicians who call West Tennessee home. Also located on the grounds is Flagg Grove School, the childhood school of Tina Turner, and the last home of Blues pioneer Sleepy John Estes. To learn more about the Center, visit www.westtnheritage.com or call 731-779-9000.