Protrait of Jim in Studio_JR Hamil Fine Art

J.R. "Jim" Hamil first became a resident of Kansas when the family moved from St. Louis in1951. Jim's father, J. Harold Hamil, took a position with then Consumers Cooperative (eventually Farmland Industries) as a Senior Vice President of Communications. Jim attended Shawnee Mission(now North) High School. Graduating in 1954, at 16 years of age, Jim was proud to say he was the youngest senior graduate from Shawnee Mission until that time.

At 17 Jim headed to KU, with the initial goal of being an arts educator, but quickly shifted his graduation plans in order to focus more on commercial art; effectively supporting his tuition during his4-years at KU by illustrating over 35 original pen and ink works and multiple prints of various KU landmarks including the KU Student Union and the original Frasier Hall.

Almost immediately after graduating KU in 1958 with a BFA in Visual Communications, after a short interview and review of his collegiate portfolio, Jim was offered a position at Hallmark Cards as a stylist' and over the next 15 years he would create nearly 200 published watercolor illustrations for cards, books, wrapping paper and advertising illustrations for the company. Jim was already building his reputation with the public through corporate commissions, participating in various regional art fairs and consigning with galleries across the region.

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