Socially Engaged Art; Documentary Art; Contemporary Installation Art; World Health; Educational Innovation
Ph.D., Columbia University
M.Phil., University of Sussex, England
B.A., University of Michigan
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
Mary Oestereicher Hamill
Mary Oestereicher Hamill is a pioneer of participatory photo-based art regarding social issues. In a multi-year project begun in the 90’s, she loaned video cameras to homeless people and transformed the imagery and sound into collaborative interactive installations at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Sanders Theatre, Harvard; and the Massachusetts State House. Her seminal “Constructs of Frailty” (Rose Art Museum) led to a medical mission in remote rural Vietnam; and this resulted in a collaborative exhibition in the village center and an installation at Stanford University. Her expedition to ancient Beijing neighborhoods engendered street photography by the residents and a festive art display there; this phase was followed by projecting the China images outdoors in Chinatown, New York, and then exhibiting the entirety at the Danforth Museum. Hamill collaborated with Native Americans in New Mexico for the Abiquiu Music Festival. She also developed an installation based on her service as a Public Affairs Officer on the hospital ship USNS Mercy in the South China Sea. Her artwork has been exhibited in Canada, England, France, India, Spain, Uruguay and other countries.
Hamill’s consistent focus on the needs of poor and marginalized people proceeds from a career in educational reform, work that led to four national awards and to a set of U.S. legislation (PL94-142). She served as Senior Research Scientist in the New York Mental Health system, tenured Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Brooklyn College, and Associate Professor of Psychology and Dean Undergraduate Studies at Babson College, where she led an acclaimed curriculum reinvention. Hamill has a Diploma from the Museum School and the Traveling Scholar Award, and has had numerous fellowships including Djerassi Resident Artist Program and Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She earned the Ph.D., Columbia University; M.Phil., University of Sussex, England; and A.B., University of Michigan. In 2014 the national Women’s Caucus for Art appointed her representative to the United Nations. The mother of two adult sons, she is based in New York City and Princeton.
The Cambodia War Widows Project is directed by Mary Hamill and Chath PierSath, an artist who survived the Khmer Rouge killings. Fourteen elderly widows in an impoverished remote village are engaged in dialogue about the atrocities they remember and the difficulties they face today. They are creating fabric prints and maps in commemoration of their dead husbands.
”Remote Possibilities: Making Art with Marginalized People (China, Vietnam, Cambodia),” United Nations Conference of the Commission on the Status of Women, New York, 2014.
"After Genocide: Khmer Collected Histories," Bernstein Gallery, Princeton University, 2015.