Today we shine the spotlight on Drake Alum, Marty Hicks, sculptor and metal artist who owns HIXWERX Metal Arts Studio in St. Paul, Minnesota. Marty designs and creates furniture, sculpture, architectural elements, and public art. He’s active in showing art, making commissions, and teaching and conserving sculpture in central Minnesota.  

Marty Hicks Feature for the Drake Art + Design Alumni Impact Series


Marty Hicks is the owner of HIXWERX Metal Arts Studio in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he designs and creates furniture, sculpture, architectural elements and public art. Marty received his B.F.A. from Drake University and an M.F.A. from the University of Minnesota. Marty has served as the Exhibit Fabricator Science Museum of Minnesota, Sculpture & Object Conservator for Kristin Cheronis, Inc. and Art Director for Jack Morton Worldwide. He has taught sculpture and 3-D image making classes at the Teaching Guild of Metalsmiths, East Side Arts Council, and Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He recently designed and built the kinetic outdoor public sculpture “River Wind,” commissioned by Greening the Avenue, Inc. and funded by Saint Paul STAR program. 

Professional and artistic highlights include participating in 50 Years of Iron Sculpture at the University of Minnesota and receiving an Artist Initiative Grant and the Minnesota State Arts Board support to set up foundry equipment to cast bronze artwork. Marty has also received numerous commissions for works while being selected for a host of exhibitions and awards. Marty can be found living and working in his two-story studio near the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with his wife, Kelly. 


I’m consumed with working metal. From decorative metal work to architectural-scaled public art, metalsmithing is my life. This work ranges from welding, to artist blacksmithing and bronze casting. My passion for metalsmithing is derived from organic materials found in the earth: iron, copper, silver, and bronze. I then work them by hand and fire to reveal a myriad of forms, textures and colors. Sculpting introduced me to a variety of materials and techniques that allow me to model, cut, bend, hammer, weld, and otherwise move the material and change its shape. The outcome includes fine art, decorative utilitarian objects, furniture, jewelry, and large outdoor public art installations. There is something primal at the core of this work that grows into something elegant and beautiful. My goal is to find myself in the “dance” with the tools and materials, which results in an object people appreciate and enjoy. It’s a never-ending process to go deeper, learn more, and get better.  

537 56th is a topological sculpture of a place in Des Moines made of acrylic, steel, and halogen light