Interview with artist Hamilton Glass from Richmond, VA

January 30, 2014 at 9:34 am

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Hamilton Glass is a laid back artist with an incredible work ethic, and that’s not a common combination in the art world. I met him on a job for Adidas Football, and we worked for our money. We painted cleats for the athletes, in 12 hour shifts, taking custom orders, many of which were insane custom orders, and at the end of the day when I was ready to bed down and knock out, he took more cleats back to the room each night to work on more! I kept thinking “way to go young guy, make me look old and feeble,” but the truth is I admired his work ethic.

Ham is making art, supporting a family, and down for some incredible causes, so sit back and read while we get to know him more, enjoy.

What neighborhood did you grow up in and what neighborhood do you represent now?

I was born and raised in West Philadelphia in ” Winfield “. I now reside in Richmond, VA where My mother is originally from.

I know when we talked you said you consider yourself an artist, what type of artist would you say since street art has become such a label?

To be honest, the I’m so often labeled as a street artist which motivates me to be so much more. In my mind just being an artist in general gives light to being creative. I rather not place a label or categorize myself. I also think im a bit young in the art world to even know what kind of art really fits me. Right now in my art career, it’s all about evolution and trying new things, so no labels needed.

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How did it all start for you with drawing and art and how did move to doing murals for you?

I would say I have the typical “artist” background. Like most artist ive been drawings since i was little, though when growing up I never had the need to show off or even let any of my peers know i could draw. Growing up my mother tried to put me in any and every art program she could. While in college I pretty much ended up abandoning my art and getting into architecture. After graduating with an architecture degree I started getting back into my art while holding a full-time job at an architecture firm. Once the recession hit I was laid off which gave me time to concentrate on my true passion, My art. In 2009 I was commissioned to do a mural in downtown Richmond and the rest is history.

Let’s talk about some of the projects you’re working on now?

As of right now im working on a large piece for the Motown Museum in Farmville. I’m really excited about this piece because it’s a project that a typical “street artist” wouldn’t take. Though I can’t say much about the project Its something that’s im hoping will evaluate people’s perception of my art. Its something that im pretty much locking myself in my studio to do. The project should take about two months to complete, which is probably the longest ive ever worked on one single project.

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I know that we met working on a job for Adidas let me ask you how do you like working on corporate jobs? What do you find are the pluses and the drawbacks of them?

Cooperate jobs have been pretty good to me thus far. My third mural in my art career was a 60′ wall commissioned by Altria ( large corporation based in Richmond VA). This gave me a great platform very early in my ventures with showing my work.

What are some of your dream projects what you want to get accomplished and say the next five years?

In the next five years I’d love to have murals in all of the major cities on the east coast. As of right now, all my work is in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. My main goal since ive went full-time with my art is to travel and expand my work into some new markets.
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I know moving from Philly to Richmond must have affected your artwork,how would you say that your old neighborhood affected your artwork and how does you your new neighborhoods affect  your work?

As I said earlier growing up in Philly I pretty much kept my art work to myself. I did a bit of graffiti, but to be honest I was nothing but a toy (we all are at some point). I really didn’t get serious about my working until I got to Virginia and by that time my attention wasn’t on anything that looked like Virginia. The exciting part of doing work here in Richmond Va was to bring something new that the locals hadn’t seen before. I wanted to bring some of the urban flavor to the southern streets, which is why I believe my work caught on so fast here in Richmond.

What are some of your favorite old neighborhood spots and what if you grown to love about your new neighborhoods?

Here in Richmond, the Art District is one of my favorite spots. Right  Richmond is averaging about 20-30 murals a summer in the Arts District. Between the Gallery Art Whino and the RVA Street art festival this city is buzzing with more and more creativity every year.

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Tell people about the project that you just finished working on that’s interactive and lights up, I think this is a really amazing project with a good spiritual message, please tell people about it.

I had the great opportunity to partner with a woman named Patience Salgato who is a kindness worker. She had an idea from a public art project to create an interactive wall that housed LED lights that lit up every time a person did a kindness act.  The project used cutting edge technology (pixel pushers) to do just that. The wall ended up being 110 long and was covered with the initial stories collected on the website. After the community added the stories to the wall I basically free styled a track for the LED lights. The Martin Agency then headed up installing and running the technology which powered the wall. The wall also used interactive paint which allowed the community to hold hands and touch different contact points on the wall to create animation in the lights. For more information see www.thelightofhumankindness.com

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Any shout outs or people you like to mention or future projects coming up that she would like to plug or talk about? and thanks for everything!

I just want to thank Neighborhood love for the interest in my work. It was great working with you on the Adidas project and I hope one day to get out to LA and maybe get down on a wall. For all who maybe interested in my work check out www.whosham.com or my Instagram handle hamglass.
Instagram: Hamglass
Twitter: Hamiltonglass
Facebook: Hamilton Glass

Website: www.WhosHam.com