Viva! NashVegas creator has passion for tradition in both music and in art of printing

Viva! NashVegas creator has passion for tradition in both music and in art of printing

PHOTO: George Hamilton V stands in front of some of his artwork created through the method of letterpress printing during Friday’s Franklin Art Scene. / Photos by John McBryde


George Hamilton V believes in being hands-on in just about anything he does.

The singer-songwriter and artist created his own radio show a number of years ago that is highly considered as helping to fuel the “Americana” music movement. His show, Viva! NashVegas,” was originally played live at Handy Hardware in Franklin and is now a few blocks over at Kimbro’s Pickin Parlor. Hamilton also broadcasts through the shows “The Drive South Radio Show” in Columbia and “The Pleasant Life Radio Hour” on Franklin’s WAKM-AM station.

The American flag shines as crowds make their down Main Street.

And as visitors to the Franklin Art Scene Friday night would have seen if they made their way to the Williamson County Archives building, Hamilton’s passion transcends music and to the realm of letterpress printing.

The old-fashioned method of hand-picking letters, rolling ink and being patient with time is best-known through the Nashville institution Hatch Show Print. That’s where Hamilton first started getting his posters printed for his radio show, but he realized about 12 years ago he could do it himself.

“I started putting things together and searching for ways to make my own NashVegas posters,” Hamilton said from the Archives building, where several of his pieces were on display.

Within a few years, Hamilton was teaching the letterpress technique to students at O’More College formerly located in downtown Franklin.

“It was very interesting,” Hamilton said of the four years he taught there. “The students loved it. It was a chance to use your hands. It was in the graphic design program, but rather than justifying everything on the [computer] screen and stuff, you add to pick up little spaces and stuff like that. And it’s tactile, holding stuff and rolling ink and making mistakes.”

Hamilton was one of around 25 artists showing their creations at the latest Art Scene, which was particularly bustling with better-than-expected weather and the merging of crowds from the Eat the Street event in Bicentennial Park.

The next monthly Art Scene will be Friday, June 7.

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