natural pigments on wood panel; 36×36”

“This modern icon painting is based on the historical figure of Mary Turner who was lynched in Valdosta Georgia in 1918. The murder of a white farmer set off a string of murders, including Mary’s husband, at the hands of a white mob. Mary threatened to press charges against the killers and she became the victim of a brutal lynching, while 8 months pregnant. Recently, I was asked to create a painting of Mary for a project about the race crimes of the South throughout history. Although Mary represents a historical figure from the 1900’s, this piece also represents a spiritual symbology of Mary the Mother of Jesus using African symbols as well as an African-American model to express a cultural alternative to western ideas about traditional iconography.”

ARTIST BIO: Jill Smyth Hicks is an artist who has lived in the Red River Gorge with her family for the past 10 years. She enjoys spending time outside observing and drawing the wilderness around her. Recently she has been illustrating birds and fish that live in the Red River Gorge. Jill has a BFA in printmaking and sculpture but works with materials that speak to the content of her work.