Transitions + the Autumn Equinox

“If you don’t examine your life experiences,
they have no value to you.”
- Rick Warren, author, The Purpose Driven Life

The Autumn Equinox  is on its way this Saturday and a new season means new possibilities.  It is an opportunity to shift gears, make new commitments and to reinvigirate your life and practices.  This fall will be a  personal new chapter for me as I venture off to engage in passion projects including my writing, expanding my practice through community real estate development and engaging international opportunities to connect New Orleans globally after spending six years designing, developing and implementing the well considered, place based residency program in the seventh ward of New Orleans- I am very proud of that work and even more grateful to the team of people who allowed me to lead them and the community who trusted me to lead with integrity and love- thank you!

As many of you know Radical Self Care became a practice of doing something for myself everyday, not just when I felt low energy or was in desperate need of care.   I challenged myself to think about my needs each day and to my surprise,  I was excited when I saw that Compass Point  put together a formal way to acknowledge black women in leadership through their new program.  I have also been interested in looking at trends in the field and changes in leadership and want to thank the following thought leaders for their contributions to arts and culture including Okwui Enwezor, of whom has inspired my curatorial practice.   And.... two top contributors to the southern arts and cultural world including Veronique La Melle and Neil Barclay - thank you for working tirelessly to inspire a new generation of thought leadership.  As you make your seasonal transition, here are a few tips to keep you grounded and move your passion to the next level.

 Flow with and know your rhythm or create one

Develop a supportive  community and reciprocal exchange system

 Embrace change- learn to be flexible and adaptable while standing in your values

 Never underestimate the power of beauty and its ability to change the way you feel- surround yourself with beauty and create it daily

Show grace, gratitude and authenticity in real time.  If you see someone do something that stands out- tell them.

 Plan for a rainy day but live in the now

Don't be afraid to be wrong- you will be, accept that and learn from it

Radical self care allows for you to care for the mind, body and spirit daily, never underestimate the need for daily care.

There are times to be strategic, stealthy even and other times to be publicly courageous and unfiltered, learn which is needed for which situations

When fighting for systemic change (transitions) know that it may come after you're gone.  As the Native American saying goes, plan for seven generations ahead

..... And as a lagniappe because I'm from New Orleans, and we like giving you a lil something extra..... like my Pop Hamilton says, "the only thing you can count on is change." 

Gia Hamilton is In Wild Air

I was honored to be featured in In Wild Air (VOLUME VI | EDITION LXI), a weekly newsletter featuring six interesting things selected by an interesting guest.

Check out the excerpt below, and read the full piece here


Shamans, Healers, and Griots

Shamans, healers and griots have held culture and stories of communities for centuries. In a world of big data and technology, I am constantly contemplating the place that these archetypes have in the contemporary canon. The urban shaman understands the chaotic often times unexplainable energy of the environment and can point out ways to reframe our experiences so that we feel more connected. VUCA ( which stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) seems to represent this transitional time between the beginning of this technological age and the age of full integrated human knowledge. The urban healer—such as myself—looks at organizations and groups the way a holistic doctor approaches the body: as complex systems operating on an external and internal level as well as from micro to macro and back and forth. In order to address root cause, we must first establish the pain, trauma and imbalance. Within organizations, I find that when our systems remain inequitable and based on a unilateral power structure we cannot possibly benefit from shared and integrated learning and therefore holistic problem solving. And finally urban griots exist to listen first, to observe and pay attention to the signs of the time and to accurately, passionately and skillfully deliver stories and qualitative data that allows for comprehensive decision making that evolve cultural and societal norms.

As we continue to merge with technology, our brains, actions and thought processes shifting, it is the healer, the shaman and the griot who will ultimately tell us what it means to be human and act as the witness while creating the moral and ethical lexicon. I am always on the lookout for my tribe, when we see each other there is a greeting in our concrete jungles and urban surroundings that allows us to know that we feel, think and breathe the people, the place and the universal truths that exist all around and through us.

Living life with purpose and passion.....

Happy new year ! 

2017 was been filled with so many moments of great joy, intense sadness and learning opportunities. I have been committed to self care, not as a specific set of activities but rather a way of life. I forgive myself, accept my imperfections and hone in on my purpose. The most engaged discussions have involved themes of sustainable tourism, radical hospitality, the role of artists in present society, the world of cryptocurrency, the need for self care for folks of color and those on the front lines, solidarity economy, how to hold space in changing communities and finally a 2018 campaign for supporting black female leaders of color ... this year the life of self care will continue and I will begin single tasking, narrowing and focusing concentrations of energy to be fully present in all that I do. I will build in more thinking and processing time to explore my inner world and respond with intention. 

 Living My Values

Living my values means being my whole self and using the learning experiences to refine my approach, understand my leadership style and act with care.  I use my badge of motherhood as a badge of honor to showcase how qualified I am to handle complex projects with high degrees of change.  The two influence each other and the more I am supported in either or both spheres, the better I am able to be successful and contribute to society in deeper and more meaningful ways.


Parenting is a never ending job, I am always humbled by how much I learn about myself and their ever changing needs.  The role of mother has prepared me to lead, care and engage with artists at the residency and better understand the complexities of organizations I partner with.  As they shift and grow, I reflect on their accomplishments and as my Maw Maw would say, "catch em doing something good...." 

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NO DEAD ARTISTS is an international open call for artists, open to living artists of all ages, emerging and established, working throughout the world. All mediums are accepted including, but not limited to, painting, sculpture, design, glass, metalwork, photography, video, performance, mixed media and installation art. 


I was honored to be a juror for NO DEAD ARTISTS 2017 along with Helen Toomer (New York, NY) and Bettina Stiewe (San Francisco/Bay Area, CA). 

Inside Voices

An intergenerational dialogue of black women builders and developers of physical and digital space. 

This discourse seeks to address the importance of brick and mortar spaces in areas of displacement while claiming digital realms to create new languages of expression and archiving revisionist narratives. Narrated and hosted by Gia M. Hamilton, a non-profit developer, scholar, curator and healer. With Panelists Carla Williams, Whitney Mitchell and Shanti Broom.


Queens Of New Orleans

YEP and Ace Hotel present "Queens of New Orleans". This is an exhibition following the calendar project of the same name by Youth Empowerment Project and Three Keys. The Queens of New Orleans calendar showcases twelve queens in our community, many of them mothers, caretakers, advocates – roles often minimized in our society. This exhibition celebrates these queens and the hope for a future where women, girls and female-identifying persons have the agency and power to live as freely and as magnificently as they please. It will be ongoing until June 30.

The official opening event was held Friday April 23 2017. The first segment was a panel discussion entitled "Inside Voices" about black women leading in digital and physical spaces. Panelists included: Whitney MitchellCarla Williams, & Shanti Broome.

Following the discussion was a photography experience hosted by DeOrin Payme called Visual Alchemy. Based out of New Orleans and spanning all over the world, it is a sensory journey for all to take part. Originally from California, DeOrin has been creating with the medium of photography since childhood and professionally, since 2009. He relocated to New Orleans in 2012 after visiting and falling in love with the culture of the city.

The goal of Visual Alchemy is to capture the beauty of nature and the cultures of the world, while telling stories in order to bring empathy with the subjects.

Payme created an ongoing photo series entitled Enthroned. This series showcases the beauty of black femininity and the city of New Orleans. 

Payme created an ongoing photo series entitled Enthroned. This series showcases the beauty of black femininity and the city of New Orleans. 

Sara Zewde: Designing The Southern City Now

Sara's talk, on February 16th, 2017 at the AIA Center in New Orleans, was moderated by Gia Hamilton and presented by NOMAS and AIAS Tulane with the generous support of NOMA Louisiana and AIA New Orleans.

Video by: Bryan Bradshaw

"In April 1996, the Jazz Architectural Workshop (JAWS) convened at Tulane University in New Orleans to consider work in progress in the field of African-American architectural history, theory, criticism, and practice. Nathaniel Belcher, assistant professor of architecture at Tulane, convened JAWS to 'illuminate political and pedagogical issues at stake in the self-conscious articulation of an African-American architectural discourse'. 


During the spring of 2016, JAWS 2 hopes to continue the discourse begun 21 years ago. We draw inspiration and talent from architecture, urban design, planning, landscape architecture, urban studies, art, music, activism, community development, communications, political science and other disciplines. JAWS 2 aspires to raise consciousness of emerging work in these fields through an antiracist intersectional feminist lens."

Saint Heron Roll Back, Say That: Shani Crowe moderated by Gia Hamilton

And we’re back! We are so excited to share that we will be hosting our artist talk series Roll Back, Say That featuring the south-side Chicago braiding queen, Shani Crowe on January 28th in New Orleans! Stop by at 1:00 p.m. for a live art presentation of her “Braids” series and an intimate discussion moderated by the cultural practitioner and entrepreneur, Gia Hamilton.

If unfamiliar, Shani Crowe is the designer of Solange‘s epic head piece look during her live performance on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Having a deep appreciation for her culture and the royalty of her roots, Shani uses her hair braiding techniques to honor her heritage and celebrate Black feminine beauty.

We’re inspired and filled with excitement to share with you the work and voice of the phenomenal Shani Crowe in just a few weeks! 


St. Heron Artist Talk: Lorna Simpson x Gia M. Hamilton

We will be hosting our artist talk series ROLL BACK, SAY THAT featuring the New Orleans native, Lorna Williams and her “in’hərənt lore” show with moderation by the cultural practitioner and entrepreneur, Gia Hamilton in an intimate setting of 50 people. The figurative artist, Lorna Williams, has showcased her work through the country, displaying her collection of pieces made from a variety of materials. With bold expression, Lorna is known for using materials seen frequently throughout the day such as, tree branches, paper, clay, feathers, bones and so on using her own body as inspiration.

We’re already inspired and filled with excitement to share with you the work of two phenomenal artists and visionaries on November 5th!  In the mean time, Lorna Williams work as well as her long list of raving reviews can be found on her site


Gia Hamilton Lecture

Streamed live on Oct 7, 2016

Video & Sound, Intermedia, and the MFA in Visual Studies programs are excited to present a lecture from Gia Hamilton, Director of the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, October 7 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the Mediatheque at PNCA. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Hamilton’s talk will focus on the intersectionality of her work.
In “Gris Gris Lab: Magic making in communities,” Hamilton examines community work through the lens of art, food, healing and education in her incubator space Gris Gris Lab. Hamilton looks at the genealogy of her work as a practitioner healing a body- each space, project and community are carefully listened to, cared for, and responded to using a variety of tools, in this instance the curator embodies the role of caregiver in the most holistic sense and explores safe space, intimacy in public spaces, and tool kits for sustainability.


Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans’ $12.5 mil Artist Retreat

Watch as director Gia Hamilton leads a tour of the Joan Mitchell Center, a $12.5 million artist retreat that will open in the 7th Ward on Saturday (Aug 22). Select artists from New Orleans and across the country will soon be working and living on th

Watch as director Gia Hamilton leads a tour of the Joan Mitchell Center, a $12.5 million artist retreat that will open in the 7th Ward on Saturday (Aug 22). Select artists from New Orleans and across the country will soon be working and living on the poperty

Panel: Creative Placemaking and Community Gentrification | 24th International Sculpture Conference, New Orleans

Panel Speakers: Russ RuBert, Jamie Bennett, Moy Eng, Gia Hamilton

From October 1-4, 2014, approximately 250 sculptors and sculpture enthusiasts from all around the world gathered in New Orleans, Louisiana for the ISC’s 24th International Sculpture Conference: Sculpture, Culture, and Community. The event brought together ISC members, non-members, artists, arts administrators, curators, city planners, educators, art supporters, and students