Interview with Ed Hamilton, November 4, 2015

Sculptor Ed Hamilton talks about growing up in Louisville, Kentucky and discusses his parents' business. His father was a tailor and his mother was a barber (in a time when barbers were mostly men). He talks about the insulation of the neighborhood, which was integrated, compared to the segregation in the wider city. Hamilton talks about the impact of urban renewal on his neighborhood on Walnut Street and how it affected his family and destroyed his community. Hamilton talks about his early artistic abilities and how they were noticed by his art teacher during junior high school. He talks about how this teacher, as well as his high school art teacher, helped him to develop his talents. He talks about attending the Louisville School of Art for college. He talks about his graduate art show and how it led to his meeting several of his mentors. He talks about how they, along with his research into historical artists, influenced his work. He talks about learning through working with other Black artists. He tells the story of how he came to meet another mentor, sculptor Barney Bright, and how he became Bright's apprentice. Hamilton talks about his major commissions, including religious artwork, a statue of Booker T. Washington, a statue of boxer Joe Louis, an Amistad memorial, and the Spirit of Freedom African-American Civil War Memorial. Hamilton tells the story of meeting his wife during college through a mutual friend. He talks about how he began researching his genealogy, learning that he was actually adopted, and his decision to locate and meet his birth mother.

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