Tracy Hicks' Art
Tracy Hicks watches what we save and what we do not. Preciousness is a premise that ripens over a human life span. Mr. Hicks’ fifty-nine years of accumulated experience makes for a well-ripened sensibility.
His work investigates which objects we preserve in museums, hang on the walls of public spaces, and live with in our homes – especially those treasures we privately stuff away in drawers under our underwear and socks. In earlier years, his art is often incorporated canned fruit, vegetables, buttons, rusted nails, shards of antique glass, and even an alcohol-soaked copperhead, floating in two pieces in a canning jar.
He spent the summer of 1998 in Guatemala collecting reptiles and amphibians with Joe Mendelson and Jonathan Campbell for the University of Texas collection. There he experienced the amphibian decline firsthand. He returned to the studio and started making casts of frogs.
Thousands of frogs later, he maintains a large collection of live dendrobatid frogs
and regularly casts specimens of extinct and near-extinct amphibian species collected
by some of the nation’s leading natural history museums. By bringing these creatures to
life in a wholly unexpected form, he encourages us to rediscover their preciousness.
While Tracy Hicks’ art is internationally known and nationally shown, he is at heart a regionalist. He believes that only by staying honest to his roots can he interpret the change that is going on everywhere. By staying connected to the change taking place where we are, we have some chance of preserving more of our world and making the best of inevitable change.
Frogs are a symbol of change most people can grasp -- and remember grasping as a child. We do not get warts from frogs or toads, but frogs and toads can show us our precious human warts.
223 North Shore