Since beginning this column more than two years ago, profiling a different local artist each week, I’ve relied on a variety of resources to find the subjects for these profiles: art walks, open-studio tours, gallery openings, friends of friends, artists who attend my own art shows and press releases we receive.
As 2013 came to an end, I found myself with a deficiency of new artists to feature. Recalling that I’m included in the artist registry hosted by the Arts Council for Long Beach, I figured that that database would be an ideal source for discovering more talent in our immediate area.
I logged on to the registry, which randomizes the names of the artists so that we’re all circulated as people visit the site, and I contacted the first five or so who popped up. The very first artist to appear was Tiffany Aguila-Hicks.
I retrieved her contact information and sent her an email, asking if she’d like to be profiled in this column.
Shortly thereafter, I received a response– not from her, but from Jerry Hicks. “I am Tiffany’s husband,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, Tiffany passed away December 26. I would love if there was a way we could still do something as a tribute to her. She was such an incredible artist. Please let me know your thoughts.”
Naturally, I responded immediately with words of condolence and an enthusiastic answer of “I would be more than happy to still do an artist profile on her.”
Since I’ve only had the pleasure of viewing her work and emailing her spouse, rather than being able to speak with the artist directly, I’ve decided to let Jerry’s words tell her story, along with his wife’s works:
Tiffany was a Long Beach native. She loved her community and devoted all her time to help others in Long Beach. Tiffany became a member of various clubs and volunteered her time to numerous nonprofit organizations.
Although she was a gifted, talented artist in so many different fields, her true love was passing her passion of art to children. She knew the importance of being able to express yourself through art and felt every child should have the knowledge and courage to do so. Most recently Tiffany was the art director for the Long Beach Boys and Girls Clubs. Although Tiffany has a degree in fashion, her plans were to start teaching after graduating from CSULB this spring.
Tiffany worked in all aspects: oil painting, water-based painting, chalk drawing, web design, jewelry-making, clothing design, clothing-making, video-editing, screenprinting, working with metal, ceramics and pottery. Not much she could not do and do well.
Tiffany’s art was not just a job or a school project– it was her life and passion. She had an art studio at the house that she spent almost all of her time in. Her recent projects were all metal-related. She was making rings, necklaces and charms. She had built an etching system in her studio so she could etch her own metals.
Tiffany was an incredible mother and wife. Her passing is not only a great loss to us but to all of Long Beach and what she would have contributed.
To view more of Aguila-Hicks’s work, visit atomicbath.com .