Artist Sedrick Huckaby has traveled the world expanding his knowledge and influence as a painter.
From southeast Fort Worth, Huckaby grew up in family that supported his talent.
“I remember drawing at a young age,” said Huckaby. “I started painting in high school and I had a desire to get better,” he said.
Constantly looking for people to paint, Huckaby’s grandmother became his favorite model.
“When I was younger I started painting her in series. I was just painting her, and painting her and painting her. She know those paintings were being shown across the U.S.”
His grandmother’s home in Poly Heights, Fort Worth was a centralizing space for his family.
“She was ‘the place,’ and her home was where everyone would go and congregate. She was the center and her home was the center.”
After high school, Huckaby traveled northeast. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston University and his graduate degree from Yale University.
He continued his training in Europe. During his travels he continued to be inspired buy history and faith. “African-American art and African art have influenced Western art history and culture in so many ways. One of the most prominent artist in Western culture is Pablo Picasso. His period of cubism helped to shift the trajectory of art history, but what people don’t know is that Picasso was influenced by his travels to Africa and work from African artists. He saw the work Africans were doing with their masks and their beauty and technique. So his work is heavily influenced by those people and their masks.”
Huckaby gained influence from several artists in Texas. When speaking of Dallas native Arthello Beck, Huckaby said, “he told, ‘We have to tell our story,’ and that’s to say in any profession, we have to take ownership of telling our history.”
His travels led him back home to Fort Worth.
“When I was painting, I continued to look for people to paint who reminded me of home, and who reminded me of my family. I don’t like painting from photographs. I need the person right there in front of me. Going home was the authentic choice.”
Huckaby eventually bought his grandmother’s home and property. He transformed almost two acres into a gallery and art space. Each room tells a different story of his family history. There is one room that is dedicated to the theme of “hope.”
Huckaby repurposed the pews from his family’s church and placed them in the room. He also painted the walls white.
“This room signifies hope. The hope and faith that my grandmother had. Her faith in God was one of the main legacies she passed down to her family. She was encouraged to know, that no matter what struggles our family had, we were going to make it through. She taught us that there was something better than this life. She taught us to look forward to heaven,” he said.
History, family, loss and faith are the major themes that Huckaby focuses on. His large scale portraits have been displayed around the United States including cities in Texas, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Chicago, Washington D.C and Atlanta.
“I have done a piece that 80 feet and I’ve done portraits that are 8 and 9 feet. To make these portraits really large, its attributing and speaking to their significance,” said Huckaby.
Currently, his work is on display at the Meadows Museum of Art in Dallas, Texas. He is also a professor of art at the University of Texas at Arlington.