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Houston artist Tinsley Hammond lights up local scene

Tinsley Hammond/Photo courtesy of Tinsley Hammond

Age: 28

Hometown: Born in Anchorage, Alaska, before moving 10 times. Calls Houston home, but has lived in Boston for the past two-and-a-half years.

Think of: “I personally think that my projection series is a contemporary infusion of abstraction and representation,” Hammond said. “The only artist I can think of who’s doing something the way that I am is Marco Brambilla but his work is pure animation. A lot of the subject matter that he uses is similar to mine.”

What caught our eye: The kaleidoscope-like elements of Hammond’s light-box installation, created during her master’s program at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, which she’ll be displaying at ARCH Gallery in Allston this month.


Lightbulb moment: “That occured during my undergrad program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As students we have full access to the museum that’s joined with our school, and my favorite area was the contemporary wing that had just been built, so I got to view Gerhard Richter’s large-scale paintings in person,” Hammond said of her experience in 2002. “His ability to alternate between figuration and alteration has greatly influenced my work.”

Biggest thrill: “My biggest thrill was spending three months in an artists’ residency in southern Italy,” Hammond said of her time at the Martignano International Artists Residency (MIRA) in 2006. “I applied and got accepted so it was an amazing opportunity to work with some incredible artists and I got to show my paintings in Lecce, Italy.”

Inspired by: “I’m inspired by an assortment of photographers, painters, and installation artists,” Hammond said. “Some of them being Nan Goldin and Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s photography influenced my early portraiture and those are actually two alumni of the SMFA.” “They displayed very edgy subjects of counterculture and that was what I had focused on in my early paintings. That’s my really early stuff. My current work is really influenced by Jack Wall.”


For good luck: “I don’t really believe in luck per se, but I do believe that luck happens when preparation meets opportunity,” Hammond said, in reference to a quote by Roman philosopher Seneca.

What people should know: “I often hide images in my work. I want to challenge people to come view my show and see what they can find.”

Coming soon: Hammond will be displaying “The Projection Series,” an installation of 20 light boxes that were hand-built to display her latest work, at ARCH Gallery on Everett St. in Allston through Nov. 21. The closing reception will take place at the gallery on the 21st from 6 to 9 p.m.

Emily Wright can be reached at emily.wright@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @missemilywright.