Jim Hammond Profile

by Jon Kanis
(published in the The Publication, June 1996.)

The Art Union building continues its series of “art happenings” this month with an exhibition by San Diego artist Jim Hammond entitled “Faces.” This will be Hammond’s first solo exhibition and will present work from the last two years. “I don’t call them portraits I call them faces” says Hammond. “I was going to call it ‘Some Of My Best Friends Are Colored’ because I do a lot of colors. But when I think back on when Whoopi (Goldberg) and Ted Danson came out in blackface, it just wasn’t politically correct…but people who know me and Dorothy would know that its a double entendre. All of my stuff is very colorful. I also thought of ‘The Many Faces Of Eve/Jim.’” Hammond also wants to include an installation piece, but at press time was unsure of how the entire show would eventually shape up.

As an active presence in the local San Diego art community, Hammond pours a lot of energy into supporting and promoting local artists. Together with his wife, artist Dorothy Annette, each week the two host an informal get together of artists (and art lovers) for a pot-luck meal that occasionally has the spirit of an old-time hootenanny. More to the point, Hammond publishes a magazine, The Publication, whose sole focus is to promote San Diego artists, art events and general art appreciation. Hammond points out that “It’s a small publication. I’m only printing 1000 copies. It’s eight pages, sometimes twelve and I’m trying to cover all of the people that I know. I’m using that as my base and I’m sort of ‘taking care of my friends’ and giving them all of the strokes that all artists really need. I think artists strive on strokes. And peer recognition. And money, they thrive on money too.”

Hammond indeed loves to support and promote his fellow artists, but this month Hammond has an opportunity to promote his own work. “I get invited to do stuff at the Art-Union building all the time, and when somebody invites you to do a show and gives you carte blanche, it gives me an opportunity to do some things that I have in my head. I was thinking of getting 900 yards of wire and just wiring that place. Put nails in the wall and do a sketch or something. And all of a sudden you have a face.”

“I don’t know what it is about faces, I always come back to them. We have models over here, nude models, and I end up with their faces. Maybe draw in a breast or two. Or three. But the face is the fingerprint of that person. It’s the one in the galaxy that is completely different from everybody else.”

The Art-Union Building presents “Faces” by Jim Hammond. There will be an opening reception on Friday, June 21, 1996 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. There will be live music and Flamenco dancing by Io Vigeant and Cassandra Fernandez. The show runs through August 2nd at the Art Union Building at 2323 Broadway. Viewing hours are Monday through Friday.

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Please call 619.239.2312 for more information.