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Brian by Michael McCaffrey, 2020
Brian Hawkins (b. 1987 in Kansas City, Missouri) is an artist whose work explores the subjective, fragmentary nature of our personal and cultural narratives.  He has produced a series of intricate, cut-paper animations which draw inspiration from the music, folklore, and history of his native state.

Early in life, Brian developed a passion for ragtime music, a precursor to jazz and the blues, which evolved in St. Louis.  His combined interests in music, the visual arts, and film led him to begin making animations while he was pursuing his Master of Fine Arts at the University of Kansas. In 2016, his practice expanded into the realm of documentary, as he began investigating the folktales and traditions of Missouri’s French Creoles, a tiny, prematurely historicized community from which Brian is descended.

His most recent body of work, stemming from this research, has received support from the Center for Independent Documentary, the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Nous Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, ArtsKC Regional Arts Council, and the Charlotte Street Foundation and Spencer Museum of Art. In 2021, Brian’s animation Chasse Galerite was an official selection of the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and was named Best Animated Short at Cinema on the Bayou and the Verona International Film Festival.  Brian currently works as an adjunct lecturer for the Department of Visual Art at the University of Kansas.

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