Pivotal Moments

Home » Standard Blog » Pivotal Moments
Pivotal Moments

Pivotal Moments

Pivotal moments are what one Henry County artist credits with shaping his life. Dr. Zerric Clinton, a local teacher and one of the resident artists at The Gallery at Hood Street in McDonough, takes a look back at some of the key influencers in his life and his art.

“I’ve been creating art pretty much my whole life,” shares Dr. Clinton, but it was through drawing contests that he gained attention. “I used to win art shows.”

As a teenager, Dr. Clinton experienced one of his first pivotal moments with one of his high school teachers, Dorothy Pope, who he says would become an instrumental influence in his life.

“I definitely think [my art] it’s a gift.” Dr. Zerric Clinton

“She has always supported me and we have a lifelong bond,” says Dr. Clinton.

He would later attend the same college his teacher had gone to and would continue his schooling, earning a Ph.D. in Art Education.

His art evolved while he was in college and he attributes another pivotal moment to one of his college professors.

“When I went to college, I was a realist artist,” explains Dr. Clinton. But, one day in class, Dr. Clinton remembers how Professor Harry Ally put him to the test. “I was in his drawing class. He took all my pencils,” says Dr. Clinton.

At first, Dr. Clinton was lost, not knowing what to do without his artistic tools, only to later realize this lesson would end up teaching him so much about his art. “He is the main reason I became an abstract artist,” acknowledges Dr. Clinton, referring to Professor Ally as a prolific artist. 

As life continued, Dr. Clinton encountered his next pivotal moment within the local art community – a chance meeting with a fellow artist by the name of Kevin Cole. An invitation to Cole’s art show opened Dr. Clinton to the idea of settling in the Henry County area.

Dr. Clinton has been teaching for 29 years and was named Georgia Art Educator of the Year in 2015. Along with being an artist, Dr. Clinton has also written a book. He calls Henry County home with his wife and children. Dr. Clinton says his wife, a teacher, is an artist in the making. And his thoughts on Henry County, “I like this place, it’s laid back. I’m from a small town and I like the small-town feel,” says Dr. Clinton. And what he thinks about his art, “I definitely think it’s a gift.”

By J.M. Sylver