Photos courtesy of Silas Simmons Hicks II — Natchez native Sim Hicks signs some of the posters he has created inspired by some of his favorite names and places in Natchez.
Photos courtesy of Silas Simmons Hicks II — Natchez native Sim Hicks signs some of the posters he has created inspired by some of his favorite names and places in Natchez.

Names inspire Mississippi poster created by Natchez native

Published 12:05am Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sometimes the places in your hometown shape you just as much as the people do.

Natchez native Sim Hicks seems to think so. Although he lives in Atlanta now, Hicks took all of his memories of Natchez places and put them into one piece of artwork.

Hicks created a poster with names of his favorite places in Natchez designed to form the shape of Mississippi.

“I think as much as the people in your life play a role in who you’re going to become in life, so do the places that you go,” Hicks said.

Hicks, who was paralyzed in a diving accident as a child, took up painting in the hospital as a way to cope with his situation.

Artwork by Sim Hicks
Artwork by Sim Hicks

“I never really took an interest in it before that,” Hicks said. “My mom brought paintbrushes and paper to the hospital, and it was just kind of way to get your mind off the situation.

“And it really just stuck with me.”

The 36-year-old Cathedral School graduate studied painting at Ole Miss and transitioned into graphic design. He graduated from Ole Miss with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and received a master’s degree in graphic design from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Hicks is married to Cameron Henwood Hicks, who is a schoolteacher. The couple has a 7-year-old daughter, Mary Simmons Hicks, who is already taking an interest in her daddy’s art.

“She’s starting to pick it up,” Hicks said. “We get up on Sunday mornings, and we have an art hour where we color or draw together.”

Hicks works for Network Communications Inc., the largest national publisher of local printed and online magazines for the multi-family, real estate, home design and home improvement markets.

Hicks also works on the side doing graphic design and building webpages for corporate identity packages used for branding.

But he still makes time to come home to Natchez, especially for an annual Fourth of July celebration.

Hicks says many of the places he included in his Mississippi artwork transition time.

“If you look at the Eola Hotel, Dunleith, Cathedral and all the other wonderful schools, the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race, all the things I put in here are things that are kind of a snapshot of all the wonderful things Natchez has to offer,” he said. “And when I get to come home, those are the places I go.”

Although there are no people listed on his Natchez poster, Hicks says the people of Natchez have shaped him greatly.

“A lot of these places on the poster stepped up to help my father in some way after I got hurt,” he said. “In some way, shape or form, I think everyone in that town has helped me.”

Hicks’ poster is available for purchase at Fat Mama’s Tamales, Dianne’s Frame Shop and the Natchez Visitor Reception Center. Anyone wishing to purchase a poster directly from Hicks can contact him on Facebook.