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Artist Craig Hawkins continues sharing religious and spiritual paintings in a not-so-obvious form with his Southern Artists League Artist of the Month exhibit in The Valdosta Daily Times’ lobby.

While many religious artists present portraits or scenes directly from the Bible or churches or other obvious declarations, Hawkins’ paintings often seek the more difficult to define search for the soul, for the relationship between man and God, and the interconnecting tissue of religion.

Hawkins’ paintings aren’t always seeking to present religion or a relationship with God as a balm, but often as a bomb that will shake perceptions and alter souls. His paintings can disturb, but they disturb in a way to get a person thinking of things in different ways, to see things from a new perspective.

Still, the Bible plays a key role in his work.

“Most of my work consists of biblically based, contextualized figures,” Hawkins notes in an artistic statement. “I’ve been told my work is emotionally intense. I believe that to mean the passion and desire I have to understand and live according to my main influence, the Bible, is somehow being transferred through my art. I can’t think of anything more emotionally, physically, and mentally intense than the Bible. The Bible is full of murder, betrayal, greed, lust, prostitution, nudity, covetousness, war, sex and illegitimate pregnancy. But in contrast, it has the ultimate examples of truth, love, mercy, grace, trust, integrity, wisdom, strength, courage, leadership, beauty, patience, humility, true life, miraculous healing, and people being raised from the dead.”

Hawkins grasps these versatile themes of the Bible with a versatile talent. He moves from canvases presented in detailed realism to canvases soaked with blurred innuendo, such as this show’s “Laud.”

This exhibit also includes some of his daily drawings of every-day objects.

Hawkins is a full-time Valdosta artist always working, always striving, and always worth another look.



GALLERY

Southern Artists League’s Artist of the Month Craig Hawkins.

Where: Lobby, The Valdosta Daily Times, 201 N. Troup St.

Run dates: Through May.

Gallery hours: The Valdosta Daily Times’ business hours, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

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