Jim Hill of Tru-Dat Publishing is an artist who specializes in paper mosaics. He grew up in a large family with two uncles (Willburn and Normal Hill) who were also artists. Uncle Willburn created the logo for the Mayflower™ moving truck, and Uncle Norman was one of the first African-American artists who drew for Esquire Magazine™. Uncle Norman recognized Jim’s gift early on, which prompted Jim as a young boy to start drawing in the early 50s.
High School Life
Jim participated in his high school fund-raising art show where his art outsold all the other students. His art teacher offered to get him a scholarship to college on one condition. The condition was that Jim had to add white people to his art portfolio. However, there weren’t many white folks to draw in the Fort Green projects in the early 60s. So Jim never got that scholarship because he could not follow through on that condition. After graduating from high school, Jim realized that he couldn’t afford to buy oil paint, so he invented and created his own paint by cutting out colors from recycled paper.
Jim gave a one-man art show at the Harlem State Building in 2010. Some of the art collectors at the show stated that Jim’s art seemed like an extension of Romaire Bearden’s, the great African American Mosaic Artist. The curator of the Harlem State Building, Greg Mills, profusely disagreed with them. He explained that Bearden copied Picasso, and Picasso copied African Mask, which he called Cubism. On the other end, Greg explained that Jim’s work is totally original. He has copied no one. You would have to go back to the tombs of Egypt to find his form of art.
During the civil rights movement, and his teaching stint from the 70s to 2007, Jim witnessed the many faces of pain and growth in the inner city of New York. These experiences inspired Jim to believe that his art could change the mentality of the African American Youth.
Although Jim was denied a scholarship to college in 1963, 3 years later in 1966, because of his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, he was given a 4 year Economic Opportunity Scholarship to St. Francis College. Rather than pursuing an art profession, Jim tried to make a difference teaching in the deep, deep ghettos of New York City. The following are Jim’s educational background:
• BA in Political Science from St. Francis College
• MA in Political Science from Long Island University
• MA in Administration Supervision from Brooklyn College
Aside from being an artist Jim is basically a teacher at heart. He has won countless Teacher of the Year awards, and was even credited as a master teacher from the head of Brooklyn College teachers department. Recently, a professor from Columbia University saw Jim’s artwork and was amazed by the uniqueness of his technique of painting with paper. He offered Jim a teaching position where he could teach his technique. Sadly, Jim had to decline the offer because he is working on opening up his own school which will help teach self-esteem through his art.
Contact Jim now for paper mosaics that help transform lives.