"I'm amazed by what Candelaria does," Tim Hamill says, "her organizational skills, how she motivates people, gets organizations and people to work together. Before she came, there was nothing organized within the area arts community, and [growth in] the arts can make other improvements happen quickly and effectively. Candelaria's programs tie in with the African American community, and my gallery fits into that because we're African-art oriented, but also because we're all committed to a community based on a liberal, tolerant bent. That makes us philosophically united. People who like African art tend to be more adventurous collectors. They're not likely to be turned off by the neighborhood, and not likely to be racists."

Tim Hamill's love of African art and his growing private collection led him to open Hamill Gallery of African Art in 1990 ( In 1980, he had opened a picture framing business in Roxbury. Framing gradually gave way to showing sculpture, fabrics, masks, and other works spanning the diverse cultures and periods of African art.

An artist himself, Tim says, "I love the power, beauty, craftsmanship, and spirituality of African art." With the power and spirituality of the art, he believes, come "deeper understanding, a connection with other cultures, joy, and, yes, inspiration. In that sense, and in this community, we serve more as a museum than a store ... more an educational and cultural resource than a business." Hamill often loans works from his collection for displays in schools, museums, cultural centers, and other public places.

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If they build it, it can grow
August 26, 2002

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