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More about "American Boy" by Leon Hicks

American Boy is Leon Hicks’ newest series of graphite drawings. The six pieces that Venvi Art Gallery has on display in his show Drawings Through Time were created in 2023. However, Mr. Hicks is still creating more since then.

Leon Hicks, American Boy #3. Graphite on Paper, 2023.

With an extensive career as an artist and educator, Mr. Hicks decides to return to his roots with this current series of drawings, American Boy. Mr. Hicks believes that he was born American before anything else, which is seen in American Boy. Due to this, American Boy could be interpreted as a predecessor to Mr. Hicks’ earlier works, an engraving from 1961 titled Black Boy.

From talking with Mr. Hicks, it is evident how much reverence and patriotism he holds for the black community and the United States, the country that he calls home. For example, his series My Home Town, one of the select series featured in Drawings Through Time, depicts federal buildings and the classical antiquity within their architecture. This symbolizes the stature and permanence of the U.S.

The reverence that he holds for both the black community and his home country are evident in many of his pieces. Throughout his extensive career in the arts and as an educator, his contributions have left a profound impact on not only the arts, but also the black community as well. A scholarship was also created in his name at Webster University, where he taught at for many years.


WTXL ABC 27 Tallahassee News. (2019, February 4). African-American icons: Uncle junior inspires young artists. WTXL ABC 27 Tallahassee News.

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