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First Ever Exhibit For Photographer Will Benefit United Way

A view from the summit of Blood Mountain, along the Appalachian Trail in northern Georgia.

By day, Ed Hamilton works for Carilion Clinic; he started the audio-visual department at Roanoke Memorial Hospital in 1973. Now a public relations specialist, the longtime communications professional – who did instructional radio and TV programs as well – is also an outdoor buff that has hiked about half of the Appalachian Trail. “A man for many seasons,” Hamilton is a nature photographer as well, specializing in images taken along the AT and in coastal Carolina.

Now for the first time Hamilton is showing off some of his colorful, richly detailed images at the United Way of Roanoke Valley offices (325 Campbell Avenue).  United Way chose Hamilton to be the first artist whose work adorns the hallways of its recently refurbished offices.

Photo USA donated the printing and Jordan’s Custom Framing and Art did likewise with the frames. Proceeds from any of Hamilton’s works that are sold at United Way during the exhibit  (at least another month or so) will be donated back to United Way.  The works are priced from $350-$650.

The Roanoke River and McAfee’s Knob are among the subjects Hamilton photographed and framed for the informal show, which kicked off recently with a reception in the United Way community room. Executive Director Frank Rogan said that space is available free of charge for non-profit organizations that would like to hold meetings there. The space is equipped with audio-visual equipment and internet hookups. “It’s got great technology,” said Rogan.

As for the art exhibit, “Ed Hamilton came in and said we needed something on the walls,” added Rogan. That’s how United Way came to host its first art exhibition. Call United Way of Roanoke Valley (777-4208) if you want to come down and see the photographs. He’s open to other artists filling the space after Hamilton’s photographs come down.  “We’d love to have them put their stuff up on the wall.” Originally Rogan had spoken to Hamilton about one print he could hang in his office; that turned into a full blown exhibit.

Any extra money that comes from the sale of Hamilton’s photographs would be welcome. “Giving is tough right now, [even though] our giving has been up,” said Rogan. “I think people really understand the needs are growing out there.”

Hamilton is happy to blend his professional life with a love of the outdoors. “I’m pretty passionate about hiking.” He’s walked the AT from Pennsylvania to its southern terminus on Springer Mountain in Georgia. Many of the photographs displayed at United Way are studies in how sunlight hits trees, water, etc. “I love water – I’m a Pisces,” explains Hamilton.

Hamilton will often walk in the woods and spy something that is photo-worthy.  Then he thinks, “it’s a shame to not capture that.” That’s when the camera comes out. The fruits of those labors are now sprucing up and helping the United Way. “This is a brand new thing for me,” said Hamilton, “I’m flattered and humbled.”

By Gene Marrano
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