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Thursday, May 12, 2011

SU's Hill Earns Distinguished Portrait Society of America Award

'Contemplation' by Dr. James HillSALISBURY, MD---For the second consecutive year, the Portrait Society of America has named work by a Salisbury University artist as one of the world’s best.

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Dr. James Hill, faculty in SU’s Art Department, won the Exceptional Merit Award in the society’s International Portrait Competition. His 22-inch sculpted ceramic bust, “Contemplation,” was one of only 20 pieces selected for the competition finals out of more than 1,750 entries worldwide.

“Contemplation” is inspired by Hill’s wife, Marjorie, who practices yoga and meditates. Its title refers to what he calls “esoteric traditions.”

Members of the society voted on the winners during its 2011 conference in Atlanta. Other countries represented included Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Estonia, Germany and the Netherlands.

“I’m most grateful,” Hill said. “Just getting into this show was an international honor.”

Last year, Art Department colleague Jinchul Kim won the competition’s Certificate of Excellence.

Hill earned his Ed.D.C.T. from Columbia University. He came to SU in 2001 and served as chair of the Art Department until 2008, during which time the department enjoyed remarkable growth. His works have been featured in the public collections of the Chicago Art Institute and Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, among others.

Locally, he has worked with the Sculpture Committee of Urban Salisbury to bring student-designed art to beautify Route 13 and the downtown area. He also worked with students and faculty emeriti on the creation of SU’s acclaimed, larger-than-life sculpture of famed Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman. Installed in 2009, the sculpture is believed to be the first commemorative three-dimensional likeness honoring Tubman on her native Eastern Shore.

Beyond the Tubman sculpture, Hill’s works may be seen regionally this summer in a group exhibition with Kim and fellow Art Department faculty Paul Flexner at the AerieArt Gallery in Rehoboth Beach, DE.

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at

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