Somerhill Gallery
3 Eastgate
East Franklin Street
Chapel Hill , NC 27514

For Immediate Release
For more information:
Annemarie M. Gugelmann
(919) 968-8868

creature sculptures by
March 23 – April 25, 2008
Opening reception on Sunday, March 23, 2-5 PM

CHAPEL HILL--Somerhill Gallery announces a solo exhibition of recent works by Bill Hickman. Hickman’s welded steel sculptures will be on display from Sunday, March 23rd until April 25th. The exhibition opens with a gallery reception on Sunday, March 23rd from 2-5 PM. The public is invited.

Hickman decided to become an artist after one of his teachers taught him how to weld in High School. Before learning to gas weld as a teenager, Hickman explains, he was an under achiever in school. He continued to explore the medium on his own and became a self-taught artist.

“Bill has been on my radar for several years, “ said Gallery Director Joe Rowand. “I am delighted that we have forged this new relationship with this extraordinary talent.” Having watched the development of Hickman’s work, Rowand is proud to welcome him to Somerhill Gallery. “In my years of artist watching, it has been exciting to see the emergence of this entrancing sculptor.”

Hickman considers his approach to art somewhat crude, but his untrained touch gives each sculpture a lively and eccentric look. He hammers, bends, and rolls pieces of sheet steel together and welds them into place. Hickman often incorporates scrap objects, such as saw blades, barbed wire, and nails into his sculptures. After welding the artwork together, Hickman primes the sculpture to prevent rusting and then begins to paint. He uses water based automotive paints for safety and health reasons so that works can be displayed indoors or outside.

The quirky steel figures are an insight into Hickman's take on society and culture. “I find irony in much of the pop culture we are exposed to from all media,” says Hickman. “If I can provoke humor and make you think at the same time, I think I’ve done my job.” He takes figurative concepts and uses them to comment on culture in a humorous way.

Hickman has seven permanent large-scale sculptural installations at the Whole Foods in Raleigh , NC . He is represented by galleries in New York , Kentucky , Massachusetts , and throughout the Southeast. Hickman has studied at Penland School of Craft in North Carolina and has participated in SOFA (The international Expositions of Sculpture Objects & Functional Art) in Chicago four times. He received the Best in Show award in 1988 at the Raleigh Fine Arts Society Annual Juried Artists Exhibition.

Copyright © 2001-2008 Hickman Studio, Raleigh, NC