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The Process of an Artist: Samantha Hill

One of my interests is to discover the moment when a person’s life has a direct influence on the history of a region. Therefore, my goal as an artist is to create a space where personal experiences and memories connect to a particular moment in history. By assuming the role of artist as archivist/Socio-Cultural Anthropologist, I conduct research within local archive collections and institutions to learn about regional histories.

Community engagement is also an important part of my process. Part of my research is to learn about a community through sharing experiences, collecting stories and creating portraits of project participants. I utilize this research construct multi-media installations & performances within landmark buildings and community spaces for public interaction.

My current endeavor, the Kinship Project, is an archive of 173 years of Family photography (1839 to 2012), oral history recordings, artifacts and ephemera. The Kinship Project collection contains over 3000 candid & professional family pictures (vintage photos, scrapbooks, tintypes & digital images), mostly of African Americans. I began to use this collection as source material for Social Engagement projects in October 2012. My goal for developing historic installation projects is to create an open space for sharing, contemplation and dialog among diverse groups of people about social dilemmas and utopian hopes.

Click here for Kinship Project audio.


Great Migration sound/photo installation, 2013 Photo credit: Tony Smith


Great Migration (Kinship Project photo installation detail), 2013 Photo credit: Tony Smith

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