Keith J. Hampton got his start in commercial art in 1977 at the age of 18, working in publishing, first at The Saturday Evening Post company and for two years at ICP as the company's magazine cover artist, creating cover illustrations for four quarterlies. At 25, he made his foray into marketing and advertising.
In 1995, he opened it'sALLart, a graphic design and fine art firm. He stopped accepting advertising and design projects in December of 2017 to concentrate solely on painting and sculpting.
Largely self-taught, Keith's hand has always been in the fine art world, showing at the IMA consignment gallery (1982, 1983) and at several regional art fairs (1995 thru 1999). His focus was crystalized further in 2001 with his first solo show of paintings in Fountain Square. In 2003 he opened the it'sALLart gallery. Two popular solo exhibitions showing that year helped his art become better known in the region. He later began to show with better success in regional galleries including Closson's (Cincinnati), Ashwood Artisans (New York), Woodburn and Westcott (indianapolis), Sullivan Munce (Zionsville), Gallery 930 (Louisville) and in Carmel, with his "Feather & Brush" 2009 solo show. He has also shown his work in two other Carmel galleries and at other retail locations in the Indy area.
Hampton's work is purposely eclectic and embody many art types, including realism, surrealism, impressionism, cubism, abstract expressionism. Hampton knowingly rejects the widely-accepted academic norm of steady progression in one flavor and pursues a multi-faceted approach which - while not popular with some gallerists - remains favorable with many others.
In 2009, he began working in 3d, producing sculptures for "Feather & Brush" in various materials, including wood, steel, plastic and fabric. In 2010 he created a lifesized "Yeti" sculpture which won first place at KIBI and sold a day later.
In 2011, he created 20 realistic, mini house sculptures in ceramic for his "House Works" show. In 2015, he created new abstract sculptures featuring a curvilinear style, along with several vases featuring abstract images on one side, rendered in multi-color glazes.
For his "Automaticae" solo show in 2017, he created an oversized hanging sculpture, "Three Levels of Consciousness," and three large concrete sculptures, "The Goddesses of Pangea," along with other abstract tabletop sculptures in concrete and ceramic.
After 22 years, in 2017 Hampton announced his retirement from graphic design and closed his design business. He continues to paint and sculpt while living on a jointly-owned southern Indiana estate.
Computer Graphics World, February 1991,
Flexible Design, pgs 78,79
Photography, Fifth Edition, pg. 288, Digital Imaging,
1994, pub. Harper Collins
Mother Earth News, June/July 1996,
Cutting Yourself Thin
Water Gardening Magazine, March/April, 2001
Hardy Water Lillies, Keith J. Hampton, pg.56
Indianapolis Star, July 11, 2003,
Artist Travels Along Parallel Streams, by S.L. Berry
NUVO Newsweekly, July 9th, 2003
Visual Art Preview, by David Hoppe
Painting in Acrylics, The Indispensable Guide
Lorena Klosterboer, 2104, Firefly Books
KEITH TALKS ABOUT THE WORK:
My artistic direction has had several influences since I began as an illustrator in 1977. When an artist starts out as a commercial illustrator in a small market such as Indy, one soon learns that survival means the ability to work in a variety of styles. This had an indelible impact on my skill as an illustrator and continues to do so with my fine art.
Early on, I tried to work against the natural process of exploration and growth in whatever the canvas showed me. Later, I learned that much like a good actor can be many characters, I can evoke many moods and styles through my art. I now embrace an eclectic approach and have been much more successful as an artist - both in sales and personal achievements.
I now have a body of works in each style and am encouraged and blessed by the fact that so many people enjoy my work - regardless of my artistic journey. With the addition of sculpture I am able to realize my visions in three dimensions and enjoy working out the logistical and mechanical challenges that sculpture presents.
Freddie Mac Headquarters, MD, five purchases
Eli Lilly, IN, two purchases
Community Hospital North, IN, three commissions
ICHHI, IN, one commission
Arc Rehab Services, IN, multiple donations/purchases
Dolphin Bay Hotel, HI, Originals and prints
Solo Show "New Works", at Avalon Gallery in Zionsville
"Cooper", 1 of 10 Public HighArt billboards chosen to rotate in various locations for one year, Indianapolis
Group Show, "Contemporary Landscape", Gallery 924, Indianapolis
Group Show, "Gray Gardens" Harrison Center for the Arts, Indy
Group Show, "Tiny II" Gallery 924, Indianapolis
Group Show, Gallery, Columbus, IN
House Works, Solo show, ArtSplash Gallery, Carmel, IN
August, Group Exhibition, Re-Dome Project, Yeti, First Place Winner
January thru September: Closson's
September: Solo Show, Feather & Brush, Arts District Gallery, Carmel, IN
Throughout the year: Closson's
September: S.A.L.I. National Abstract Exhibition, Garfield Park, Indianapolis, "Pop-Fly"
May thru July, Group Show, Hendricks Co. Fairgrounds Conference Center, various works
April, Life Canvas, Group Show, Sullivan Munce, Zionsville, IN
piece shown: Goods in the City
April, Unusual Animals, Group Show, Gallery 930, Louisville, KY
piece shown: Crows in the Corn
February, Plainfield Library Gallery: Medium-Medium
Throughout the year: Closson's, Cincinnati and Ashwood Artisans, NY.
January, (5th thru 18th), Recent Projects: Consumption, Harrison Center for Arts, Gallery 2, juried show, showing of Miami Alley
February, charity auction for Indianapolis International Film Festival, during Oscar Gala, donation of Decision and Film Idol.
the year: Closson's, Cincinnati and
Ashwood Artisans, NY.
September, S.A.L.I Midwest Abstract Exhibition at Garfield Park, Award of Merit for Our Town.
April, Contemporary Colorfield Works, CCA Gallery, Zionsville
May, Contemporary Colorfield and Abscapes at Closson's Gallery of Fine Art, Cincinnati, OH
May (ongoing) various works, Ashwood Artisans, Aurora, NY
August thru October, Cityscpes and Other Works, one-man show, Clowes Hall, Indianapolis
featured artist in Village of Westclay Luxury Showhome
May, primitive piece "Life and Death" one of five works chosen by Indianapolis Arts Council to be projected on buildings in downtown Indy.
July, Historica Textura, one-man show at School 30
July, group show at ArtsGarden, Alphanumeric works.
April, Show of Hands, Group show, 2 works including piece entitled Gospel According to Kline Woodburn & Westcott Gallery, Indianapolis
October, Fall Show, one-man show of paintings and blockprints Woodburn & Westcott Gallery, Indianapolis