The Founders Project

“The Founders Project” is a multimedia installation by artist Stephen Hamilton that re-imagines Boston Public School High-School students as the legendary founders of West and West-Central African ethnic groups; specifically, those that are part of the ancestral base of the African diaspora.

 Gianna Watson as Princess Yennenga, left; Hamilton’s painting on hand-woven and hand-dyed fabric, right.

Gianna Watson as Princess Yennenga, left; Hamilton’s painting on hand-woven and hand-dyed fabric, right.

The pieces will incorporate painting, weaving, and sculpture art traditions from each of the spotlighted ethnic groups and is to be installed in a to-be-determined interior public space in Roxbury. The project is part of a larger curriculum on West African cultural continuity in the African Diaspora designed for High School students that comes out of Hamilton’s desire to address the persistent lack of Pre-Colonial African Narratives in mainstream educational discourse and to create empowering visual representations of Boston’s Black Youth

Work on "The Founders Project" is currently underway. Visit Hamilton’s website for more information.

Stephen Hamilton

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Stephen is an artist and arts educator living and working in Boston, Massachusetts. Born and raised in Roxbury, Stephen graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and design in 2009 with a focus in illustration. His life’s work aims to address the persistent lack of positive, multi-dimensional representations of African and African diasporan cultural discourses. This deficit is ever present in arts education, commercial and fine arts. He creates and facilitates the creation of art and media that hopes to eradicate the aspects of institutionalized and indoctrinated racism that is still prevalent in our communities at large through an asset-based and collaborative lens.

Stephen’s work focuses on the aesthetics, philosophies and key symbols inherent throughout Africa and the Diaspora. He strives to create a dialogue between contemporary Black cultures and the ancient African world. Through visual comparison of shared philosophies and aesthetics ubiquitous among Black peoples he seeks to describe a complex and varied Black aesthetic. 

Learn more about Stephen.