CMU alum Andy Hawkes featured in Grand Rapids Art Prize
He said he entered a piece most people know him for.
“It’s hard not to be proud of something you get so many compliments on and that you get to be in the newspaper with, and I’m pretty proud of that piece,” he said.
Hawkes would not define art simply as a painting or something that is only hung up in a museum, but as anything that brings out curiosity and makes you wonder.
After joining a photo club in high school, Hawkes came to CMU to study art. While developing his style, Hawkes also found people who provided him with support and guidance.
“Taking classes with Johanna Paas and David Donovan,” Hawkes said. “The both of them were just really kind of like art parents and charmed you and made you think and maybe made you try really hard. I come from the BFA program, which made me the special artist I am and I’ve only been an artist for four months now, but having to talk about my work, having to write about my work … having to send it on a semester by semester basis really helped me develop as an artist.”
Paas was attracted to Hawke’s work and always knew he was very ambitious and self-motivating.
“One of the elements that consistently attracted me to Andy’s work is how economically, yet intentionally, he manipulates materials and text,” Paas said. “His attention to detail and emphasis on craftsmanship exemplify how a quiet visual voice can have a powerful impact.”
Instead of constantly creating new pieces, Hawkes is showing off what he has already created. He is going to be participating in an upcoming show in New York. He has been teaching several workshops, including ones in the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, and he is also going to be one of the 12 Detroit-based artists in a book coming out in the working pattern of Harbinger focusing on the different points the artists are in during their career.
“Since graduating, I’ve been focusing on my exhibition career because when I was in CMU, I was making a lot and I wasn’t showing a lot,” Hawkes said. “I focus on getting my work published, getting them during shows and really just trying to build up my resume.”
Saginaw senior Tisch Lewis said Hawkes is a person who is passionate about his work.
“He makes a point to build a community with his peers and in turn influence others,” the Saginaw native said. “He is very hardworking and good at describing his feelings through his art. I personally like his paper art, including ‘It’s Not My Fault.’”
Through networking, Hawkes has had his work exhibited in shows from Michigan to NYC.
“It’s all been through networking and working very hard,” Hawkes said. “Nothing comes easy and there’s a whole world of ‘no’ out there and I’ve been told ‘no’ way more times than I’ve been told ‘yes.’”
As of now, Hawkes has his next six months planned out for him. He will be traveling around the country for more exhibitions, while competing in ArtPrize. He was just chosen as one of 100 artists to persevere to the next round out of 2,000 contestants.
Hawkes said the best piece of advice he can give an aspiring artist is to work hard.
“You have to want it, no one’s going to want it for you and no one’s going to make it happen for you,” he said. “You have to be the one to work. You have to be willing to work hard. You have to want it because if you don’t want it, you’re not going to get it. The only reason I am where I am right now is because I wanted it and I worked my ass off. No one’s going to hand you anything or give it all to you.”
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