As we have mentioned in previous posts, an intrinsic element of The Shelby community is the people that helped to create it. These ‘artists and craftsmen’ are the people that have actualized our vision. It is important to us that we share with you the stories behind the talented people that have dedicated their time to creating a place for you to call home.
Welcome to our series, The Shelby Artists.
MEET: ARTIST, BRANDON HILL
Brandon Hill is a DC-based (Charm City born and raised) creative that has been “making things” since (as he puts it) emerging from the womb back in 83’. Hill is half of the No Kings Collective duo, which has created, curated, and/or produced some of the most memorable pop-up art exhibits in DC. No Kings Collective also founded DC Submerge and they run Hierarchy, a gallery and event space, which has held exhibits for other Shelby Artists such as Cory Oberndorfer and James Kerns.
Brandon is well known for his incredibly creative and colorful murals all over the DC/Metro Area. You can see his work at the startup accelerator – 1776, all over Crystal City in Virginia and now The Shelby. Brandon was brought into The Shelby by the curators at SwatchRoom. His design aesthetic made his work a perfect fit for The Shelby.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Brandon about his work featured in The Shelby.
1. What piece(s) do you have in The Shelby?
I have a mixed-media faux taxidermy head of a bull that is mounted in the Lobby above the fireplace. I also painted my take on a vintage boxing poster in the gym that is approximately 8’x12′.
2. What was the inspiration behind these pieces?
Faux taxidermy by Brandon Hill in The Shelby’s Lobby.
The bull head in the lobby is representative of farming and the great outdoors. These two things greatly impacted American history and culture. It is how people survived in the early years of America and it’s how people made a living.
The bull head is mixed-media and made from wood, fiberglass mat, epoxy, acrylic paint and spray paint.
Time-lapse video of Brandon Hill painting the gym mural in The Shelby
Completed mural in The Shelby’s gym.
The mural This piece is a whimsical play on Bacon’s Rebellion, a strange moment in history and a fun play on Americana on multiple levels. The idea was to merge this chapter of American history with the look, feel, color use, and arrangement of a vintge American boxing poster. The actual quarrel took place in Colonial Virginia and was led by two strange and opposing men: Nathaniel Bacon and Sir William Berkely, the Governor of Virginia. As though part of an alternate history, the art piece plays on this in a modern way.
Famous feuds and quarrels, from the “Hatsfields and McCoys” to the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, have a similar ebb and flow to organized sports bouts, from the sayings, the promotion, and documentation in local press, to the mythology verus reality. The “Folly in the Colony” is a play on the catchy naming of large golden age boxing matches, and the information throughout is also reflective of true facts and information from the Rebellion in its location, dates, and participants.