Sterling Hundley Interview – 50 States (Virginia)

November, 2018
Reading Time
4.5 mins
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Image © The Interviewee

Sterling Hundley – “Virginia is rich with stories that have found their way into everything I do”

This week Creative Chair is in Richmond, Virginia, with artist Sterling Hudley for the 42nd instalment of 50 States.

Sterling has an unusual approach to his craft. The result is diverse and moving collections of art that tell stories.

You can see a lot more from Sterling Hundley on his website

Sterling Hundley Familiar Interval Virginia

Tell us a little bit more about yourself and what you do.

Place and time are integral components that define my creative process. Through my work, I am searching for the alignment of a working process, technical methodology and content. In my most recent work, I am searching for the presence of time as a living and breathing companion through the observation of familiar routines. Throughout my home, working canvases are embedded behind cabinets, under sofas, chairs and coffee tables so that fleeting moments can be chronicled; a new layer for each new sitting.

“layers are carved, cut and torn to read like a compressed animation, revealing the influence of time as light cuts across a room”

Buried within these layers are daily observations of a life familiar- our children playing, our dog sleeping, our cat eating, my wife resting. In the studio, away from a home life in perpetual motion, layers are carved, cut and torn to read like a compressed animation, revealing the influence of time as light cuts across a room, my children grow older, hardships and triumphs intervene, and our family life unfolds.

Blue Collar

The resulting drawings are ordered, yet chaotic; familiar yet abstract with images resurfacing as forgotten moments. These embedded canvases and accompanying journals serve as the catalyst for larger paintings with a focus on curation through paint, surface, design, line, pattern, shape and color.


In addition to my current pursuits as a painter, I am the Founder of Legendeer- a platform dedicated to embedding artists back into the world, as well as a Professor in Communication Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition, I have worked as a freelance illustrator for nearly two decades, with a focus on idea driven visual solutions for clients from the New Yorker, Major League Baseball, the Atlantic, Rolling Stone and Abrams to name a few.

How has your state influenced the work that you do?

I’m a Virginian through and through. Context has played a tremendous role in my development as an artist. With a deep and varied history, Virginia is rich with stories that have found their way into everything I do. With youthful ambitions of leaving home, I’ve lived in Kansas City, Brooklyn, Apex, North Carolina. Each time, I was beckoned back to Virginia and I see my role here as one of advocacy and admiration.

The 145th 366 Award goes to Sterling Hundley for his outstanding creative work.


Of your own work, what is your favourite project and why?

As an illustrator, I have several individual pieces that stand out- Shipwreck, Curse Tree, William Henry Harrison and theatre poster work. Legendeer continues to be the most important, hardest work, as we invest in the greater importance of embedding artists back into the world. As a painter, my most recent body of work- Familiar Interval, yielded some of my most challenging and mature work.

William Henry Harrison and theatre

Like most things I approach- each is a hypothesis that I am seeking to prove or disprove. Once that problem has been resolved, I tend to move forward and rarely look backwards.

Curse Tree

And finally, if you died and got reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?

Radiohead- Street Spirit

Street Spirit (Fade Out)"
Street Spirit (Fade Out) (1995)
Play on Apple Music
Play on Spotify
Play on YouTube
What began as a fun question to end an interview, has now become a wonderfully eclectic collaborative playlist by 161 people (and counting).
Virginia with Sterling Hundley
Our Forest