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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Faculty & Staff

Art professor’s life celebrated at memorial service

The life of David Hickman — as an artist, professor, colleague, neighbor, father and husband — was memorialized in a ceremony on Sunday.

David Hickman | Coutesy of Brad Young

Over 125 people filled Dudley Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building, many of them honoring Hickman by donning clothes and accessories in his favorite color — purple.

Sara Hickman, one of his two daughters, wore purple attire but also highlighted strips of her hair in her father’s favorite shade.

She shared with the audience “A letter to my dad who I believe is here,” a seven-page letter she wrote for her father.

“I knew you liked people, and I know people loved you. Your passing has created a whole new sense of community,” Hickman said.

Hickman also thanked her father for giving her the “hilarious gift” of laughter.

“I hope heaven is making you laugh, because I can still hear you laughing,” she said.

Roberta Harris, a former student who later became one of Hickman’s colleagues, also pictured him enjoying the afterlife.

“I would like to imagine that David is in a really fabulous place where he can have ongoing chats about art with all the famous artists he loved,” Harris said.

Art student Drew Ireland said that Hickman helped him conquer his own self-doubts about being an artist.

“He gave the greatest sense of validation to anyone who wanted to make art, it was like water to a plant.”

Hickman hopes to continue to honor her father’s legacy and his memory. She has created a Facebook page titled “In Memoriam to David Hickman,” where those who knew her father can go and share memories and stories and be a part of the new sense of community that has developed from his passing.

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