Biography

 

 

Ed Hamilton was born in 1947 in Cincinnati, Ohio and is a resident of Louisville,
Kentucky. He has been married to Bernadette for thirty-eight years. Bernadette, a
graduate of the University of Louisville, is the Director of Options, Magnet and
Advance Programs
for the Jefferson County Public School System, and past
President of KAGE, “Kentucky Association of Gifted Education”. Son, Edward
the III, resides in Orlando, Florida and daughter, Kendra Jenelle, is a graduate of
the class of 2000 from Kentucky State University.

Ed is a graduate of the Shawnee High School class of 1965 and a graduate of the
Louisville School of Art class of 1969. While attending the University of
Louisville
and Spalding College in the early seventies, an opportunity came
along which would change his life forever. While working on getting certified to
teach in the public school system, He would meet the late Sculptor, Barney
Bright and begin a lasting relationship and continue his quest of having his own
sculpting studio while working as an apprentice under Mr. Bright.

Active in his community, Ed spends time teaching workshops and lectures for
public schools, colleges, and conferences. He opens his studio for tours and is
often called on to judge art exhibits.
He has created opportunities for other
artist to work and hone their crafts and skills. He has taught sculpture at
Jefferson Community College, is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and a
long time member of St. George’s Episcopal Church. He has served on various
boards and panels for community arts organizations, the Episcopal Diocese of
Kentucky, and the Community Arts/Fund for the Arts. He is a former member
of the Mayor’s Advisory Panel on Public Art and has currently been appointed
by the Governor to the Kentucky Military Museum in Frankfort, Kentucky, and
serves on the Executive board of the Thomas Clark Historical Center, Frankfort
Kentucky.

In May of 2000 he was given a Doctor of Humane Letters from Spalding
University.
On July 9, 2001 he was inducted in the Gallery of Great Black
Kentuckians. Sponsored by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. On
December 16, 2004 Ed received a Doctor of Arts honorary Degree from the
University of Louisville, and was the commencement speaker. On December 18,
2004 Ed received an Honorary Doctor of Arts Degree from Western Kentucky
University, Bowling Green Kentucky
and was also the commencement speaker
for this graduation.

He has created and has received numerous awards. In 1980 he created the “Black
Achievers Award”
, and in 1990 he became a Black Achiever. In 1999 he was
chosen as a Distinguished Achiever of the year. In 1996 he was the recipient of
the Governor’s Artist Award in the Arts. He created the first “ Isaac Murphy
Award
,” given through the local NAACP and later given by Churchill Downs to
selected community members. He created the annual ”Lift Award” for the
Canaan Community Development Corporation, and the Annual Smith Award
given to newspapers in the USA commissioned by Bruce Fox Corporation in
New Albany, Indiana. In May of 2005 Hamilton received the Arthur M. Walters
Champion of Diversity Award
given at the Louisville Urban League’s Diversity
Soiree. May 2005 Ed received the Urban League Diversity Award, and on June
27, 2005 he received the Best of Louisville Magazine 2005 Reader’s Choice
Award for Visual Artist
.

In 2001 Hamilton was one of four jurors that selected the winning design for the
Patriots Peace Memorial placed in Louisville, Kentucky. In 2005 Hamilton was
one of eight jurors for the International Andrew Young Memorial in downtown
Atlanta Georgia. His public work, the “Spirit of Freedom” the first
National Memorial in the District of Columbia has achieved worldwide acclaim.
This tribute to the Colored Soldiers and Sailors of the Civil War now stands at
10th and U Streets NW in Washington D.C. It was dedicated on July 18, 1998.

Other public memorials of note include the Amistad Memorial in New Haven,
CT. 1992, the Joe Louis Memorial dedicated at Cobo Hall in 1987, the Booker T.
Washington Memorial
dedicated May 12, 1984, Whitney M. Young Jr. dedicated
in Frankfort, Kentucky on the Kentucky State University campus, October 9,
1998, the Lenny Lyles Memorial dedicated October 13, 2000 at Cardinal Park
Complex, on the University of Louisville campus. A memorial plaque in honor of
Dr. Thomas Clark, Kentucky’s Historian resides in the lobby of the Frankfort
Historical Center in Frankfort Kentucky, and the Vic Hellard, Jr. Memorial
Plaque
installed in our State Capital building in Frankfort Kentucky. The
eighteen foot Tree of Life Menorah on the exterior wall of The Temple in
Louisville Kentucky. A collaborative work with C. Robert Markert, artist,
sculptor and friend.

Hamilton has many works in both private and corporate collections including an
original two foot model and a full bust of Sengbe Pieh from the courtroom side
of the Amistad Memorial, and a bronze bust of a soldier from the Spirit of
Freedom Memorial in the Speed Art Museum permanent collection in
Louisville, Kentucky. In June of 2002 Speed Museum held an exhibit for
Hamilton titled, “From the Other Side” and unveiled a sculpture in honor of the
late Barbara S. Miller, who was chair of the Community Support and Outreach
Committee and formerly chair of the Nominating and Education committees at
Speed Museum. Ed is now a member of the Community Support and Outreach
Committee of Speed Museum
. The exhibit ”From the Other Side” ran from
June 11, through December 29, 2002.

Ed created a Memorial to honor York, the slave of William Clark, who was
a vital part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803-1806.
The 8’ ft. heroic Bronze is mounted on a four foot sculpted natural rock
formation designed by Museumrock Products of Louisville, Kentucky and is
be placed on the Belvedere in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. The York
Memorial was part of the Bicentennial celebration of the Lewis and Clark
Expedition, the Corps of Discovery
. The Memorial was commissioned by The
City of Louisville under former Mayor David Armstrong. The unveiling was
held on October 14, 2003.

In May of 2004, a life-size frontier family sculpture titled “Migration to the West
was installed in the lobby of the new Frazier Historical Arms Museum, in
downtown Louisville, KY.  Ed participated in the exhibit titled,
Washington Symbol and City,” which opened October 7, 2004 - 2009
highlighting Monuments of Washington DC.

On September 29, 2005 Hamilton was one of nine honored as the 2005 Alumni
Fellows
, at the University of Louisville’s 2005 Alumni Awards Presentation
during homecoming weekend. One of Hamilton’s commissions was a
bronze plaque of Owsley Brown Frazier, President of the Frazier Historical
Arms Museum, commissioned by the University of Louisville Athletic
Department. 

The Abraham Lincoln Memorial at Waterfront Plaza was done at the behest of
the Downtown Development Corporation, Louisville Kentucky. The memorial
consists of a twelve-ft. scale bronze of  Abraham Lincoln as he is sitting on a sculpted
rock. Also there are four bas-relief bronze plaques, 4x6 scale.  The Lincoln Memorial
was dedicated on June 4, 2009 at Waterfront Park, Louisville Kentucky.

Ed was honored by Congressman John Yarmuth to represent the third District
with a Xmas Tree Ornament for Mrs. Laura Bush’s Christmas Tree at the White
House
, December 2, 2008

In February of 2006, Ed Hamilton published his book, “The Birth of an Artist, a
journey of discovery
”. This book outlines his journey from growing up in the
city of Louisville Kentucky; becoming a sculptor and a secret that changed his
sense of self forever. Published by Evanston Publishing of Chicago Spectrum
Press.

June 2009 Ed Hamilton published his second book, "Creating the Lincoln
Memorial at Waterfront Park
." Outlining the creative process of the heroic scale
Lincoln and the four bas-reliefs that tell the story of Abraham Lincoln.

The Exhibit, "Ed Hamilton’s Lincoln" opened at The Speed Museum, June 28 to
September 6, 2009

 

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