Commissioner Asia Hamilton
In her 20-year career as a photographer, Asia has cultivated a talent for capturing moments the way they are -- those rare, raw and precious glimpses of life that exist in between poses and pretense. She specializes in portraits, landscapes, abstract textures and nudes and is drawn to existing, untouched composition, which she says, is a reflection of her own authenticity. It was this strong sense of self that helped change her mind from working at her father’s beauty salon to pursuing photography. The first time she got behind the camera, she understood it was her primary way to examine and really experience the world. Since then, Asia’s work has taken her around the country and the world. She has photographed celebrities, worked as a photojournalist for several publications and produced special projects for major corporations, including Ford Motor Co, Toyota, Instyle Magazine and more. In 2018 Asia founded Norwest Gallery of Art a community based contemporary art museum that focuses on art from the African Diaspor. As Founder and Director, Asia Hamilton chose to locate the Norwest Gallery of Art in the Grandmont Rosedale neighborhood of Detroit because the community had been overlooked in the recent revitalization efforts that focused primarily on the downtown and midtown region.
Asia also lives and grew up in the neighborhood where the Gallery is, and so understands as a resident as well as a business owner the importance of having a viable, vibrant, walkable business community to advance the people. The Gallery has turned the neighborhood into an international hub for contemporary art with plans to expand its efforts as a staple for creative arts and culture in the community. Asia is the founder, director, and chief curator of Norwest Gallery of Art on Detroit's Northwest side. She curates exhibitions that allow herself and other black artists to professionally exhibit their work. Asia is also the owner of Photo Sensei photography tours and workshops, has participated in many community arts projects, and is a 2018 Knight Arts Challenge winner.