Raised on the former site of Montgomery Plantation on Ward Chapel Road in Putnam County, Travis Hicks developed an interest in drawing and painting at an early age. Encouraged by his parents Lee and Tracy, Travis always had a supply of charcoal, pencils, paints, paper, and canvases, and by the age of 13, he sold his first work. After placing in a t-shirt competition for the Dairy Festival road race, Travis was asked by several Eatonton businessmen to paint scenes of Uncle Remus characters. By 1990 Hicks had painted two murals featuring these characters, one in downtown Eatonton and the other in the Eatonton Putnam Public Library. While early public interest was in his "Uncle Remus" work, Hicks continued to paint or draw anything and everything that interested him and had his first public showing of work in 1991.
Hicks combined his interest and talent in the arts with his skills in math and science to pursue an education in architecture, and in 1991 Hicks was awarded a full President's Scholarship to attend Georgia Tech's College of Architecture. During his years as an undergraduate, Hicks supplemented his scholarship funds by selling more original paintings and by producing prints of two of his paintings depicting scenes of rural life in Putnam County in 1993. Prints of these two paintings, "Putnam Dairy Pasture" and "Rockville School" are still available today. After marrying LouAnne Watson of Milledgeville, spending a year studying architecture in Paris, and graduating summa cum laude from Georgia Tech, Hicks accepted a full fellowship to attend graduate school at Princeton University's School of Architecture in Princeton, New Jersey. After receiving his M.Arch. degree, Hicks accepted a position with his thesis advisor Michael Graves, and he continues to work for Michael Graves + Associates as an architectural designer.
After a hiatus from painting of several years, Hicks returned to old form in 2000, having a show of original paintings and photographs in Eatonton. In late July Hicks will release his third limited edition print from an original painting of Ward Chapel AME Church. Travis grew up only a mile down the road from the church and passed it every day while riding the bus to Putnam County public schools. The painting marks the third painting done for Ruth Walker Hood, sister of Alice Walker. "I have been concentrating on documenting places in and around Putnam County which are meaningful to me. In my short life I have witnessed the areas around Ward Chapel Road change drastically; if no one documents these sites, through either visual or language arts, some of them will be lost forever. I would like for my grandchildren to be able to see how Putnam County appeared when I was a child," says Hicks.
Hicks is available to paint or to draw original, commissioned work as well as to sell his prints. To contact Travis, call 609.671.9728, or e-mail him at TLHArch@aol.com.