Ed Hamilton’s Artistic Statements at Breakfast of Champions

Ed Hamilton‘s career as an international sculptor was launched in a single moment, waiting in his car outside the local studio of his mentor, Barney Bright. As Hamilton tells the story, he wasn’t sure he’d have the courage to walk into Bright’s studio and introduce himself.

As Hamilton sat in his car mustering up courage, Bright walked out to get his mail. At that point, Hamilton introduced himself, entered into a conversation that would eventually become a job and the starting point for a career which has brought him international acclaim.

Hamilton spoke to the Breakfast of Champions group at the University Club this morning, providing details of growing up in the segregated West End, becoming an apprentice with Bright and helping with Bright’s famed Louisville Clock, getting his first commission (of Booker T. Washington at Hampton University), and eventually such amazing works at the Lincoln statue on Louisville’s Waterfront. Hamilton’s works around town include the Lenny Lyles statue at U of L, the York statue near the downtown library, and numerous Catholic Church sculptures.

While Hamilton said it was difficult to choose a favorite piece, he talked at length about the African-American Civil War Memorial in Washington, providing details on how much he pursued the commission. Last year, he completed a Lincoln statue that was unveiled at Centre College.

Hamilton’s 2006 biography, “The Birth of an Artist” is available here.

For more information on the Breakfast of Champions, join our Facebook group.