Update: Paul Hunter Speagle's work and creativity is featured in a one-person show at HMA between May 5 and July 15, 2018. Speagle envisions the show as an installation; and although he initially titled it Grandfather Mountain because that is a great source of inspiration for him, it became Walking the Dog, a jazz term referencing a mix of styles. He has included drawings, paintings, sculpture, faux stained glass, and interactives including a mammoth coloring book to be filled in with giant functional encaustic crayons.

Sense of Community   ,   2012  oil on canvas  Gift of the artist, 2013.22

Sense of Community, 2012  oil on canvas  Gift of the artist, 2013.22

“As an artist born and raised in Hickory this is a personal dream of mine. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to leave a permanent piece of myself on this earth, through my art, that will live a long time after me.” (Speagle on donating Sense of Community to HMA in 2013.)

“Inspired by life, love and religion, I rely on my Fate to guide me through this life. The same practice happens when I paint or create. I rely on what I know and believe in and let my heart take over and my energy to leave behind a piece of Art. Like driftwood in the ocean I am on God’s beautiful spontaneous rhythmic ride. The journey is more important than the destination. What I saw yelled at me to bring it alive on a surface. So I did. I don’t argue with God’s urges that he gives me. I am just his messenger. “ (Artist statement.)

I received my first formal training by my mentor Joe Lafone, [a fellow Hickory artist]. I developed a vision of color, brush techniques and composition.”  Speagle went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Savannah [GA] College of Art and Design in 2005 and then a Master of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2012. I was worried that school would destroy the natural creative process. Sure enough it did change my work after learning many techniques and mediums that I continue to use today. Also learned true discipline and began thinking like an artist.”

Speagle’s work continues to be both professionally and publicly acclaimed. He says that “[I am] trying to find a way to shine on the giant bulletin board of the art world.” (Artist web site.)

Photo of artist from the artist's blog (July 9, 2015): "New Hot Work in progress in the studio." Cheerwine photo by Taylor Edwards 2018.

Post by Karin Borei, HMA Project Coordinator, writer and editor as needed, and HMA blogger since our blog's inception in March 2015.