Drawings of pain, hip-hop brethren and soul filled up the Lowman Student Center Gallery as students caught the first glimpses of the art exhibit “The Black Eye” from two of Sam Houston State University’s artists during the opening ceremony Monday.
The week-long exhibit displays drawings from SHSU artists Charles Lewis and DeJuan Hickerson. The two Houston natives have known each other since college and have decided to collaborate to deliver the art exhibit.
“We wanted to get together and show the form of art through a black person’s perspective. That’s where the title “The Black Eye” comes from,” said art graphic design major DeJaun Hickerson. “I think our style, approach and creativity captures the true essence of black art,” said Hickerson.
Students had the opportunity to view over 20 drawings between the two artists. The drawings range from symbolism of struggle with drawings like bondage from Hickerson to black and white portraits of music artists from the past and present from Lewis.
“The Alicia Keys is my favorite drawing. I like how the verses are written on her face and how she was showing her emotions in the drawing right next to it,” said junior transfer student Vanessa Ester.
Lewis has had more experience as an artist realizing he had talent in the seventh grade. Hickerson has just started to come into his own as an artist, just picking up the craft since he was a college freshman.
Both Lewis and Hickerson find motivation from the same sources.
“What got me motivated to draw was my love for music,” said Hickerson. “Music is very influential to me; you don’t have to have the best lyrics but a good beat that’s what inspires me and it pushes me to be creative.”
Lewis has also been inspired by music ranging from hip-hop artists like Jay-Z and Nas to r&b singer Stevie Wonder.
Lewis sheds some light on his favorite drawing as of yet.
“My favorite drawing is my most recent drawing ‘Man in the Mirror,'” said Lewis. “It was the first one that is personal to me because that was something I was going through and the drawing captures the feeling that I was going through,” said Lewis.
“‘Suede’ is my favorite. It took me three weeks to do. I was just inspired by tigers and big animals and I thought it would be cool if the tiger stripes had their own form,” said Hickerson.
Both Hickerson and Lewis want the public to know that this is just the beginning and more art is on the way.
“I’m going to start working on a drawing called ‘The Muse.’ It should take me about three weeks,” said Lewis.
Both artists are passionate about their work, drawing and painting for the love of art.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a hobby, it’s a passion. The same way singers need to sing, I need to draw,” said Lewis.
“The Black Eye” exhibit will be open to the public from March 20-27 in the LSC Gallery.