Jo Hamilton

b 1972 Glasgow, Scotland. Lives and works in Portland, Oregon.


I use a small hook and yarn to crochet my large-scale figurative wall works knot by knot. This method of construction, unlike painting, has feminine connotations that make it an effective medium for drawing attention to gender roles and biases in contemporary society and traditional art. My time-consuming work filters the culture of fine art through the net of this meticulous process, in order to update and transform the categories of portraiture, landscape and nudes, and to invest the craft with contemporary significance.

I crochet for a number of reasons. As a craft it has a distinct language: it speaks to and of generations of women, and as fabric it is universally relatable. I was taught to crochet by my Gran as a child; the most common and meaningful familial method of passing down craft through generations. The method is intimate and ritualistic by nature: lengthy hours are spent hand-tying and unravelling thousands of knots in order to capture a subject’s essence in the work. Each knot can be as distinct as a second in time or disappear into the whole structure; a fabric that contains both the subject and the sum of hours it took to make. These interactions, combined with the familiarity and tactile quality of the material create an effect that can make landscapes and figures less static and portraits come alive.




  • @johamiltonart



  • Glasgow School of Art, BA in Fine Art, 1993, Glasgow, Scotland.

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2019
  • The Matriarchs, the Masked, and the Naked Man, Russo Lee Gallery, Portland, OR.
  • 2018
  • Fabric of Spacetime, Timeless Textiles, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Jo Hamilton: Knots in Time, Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID.
  • 2017
  • New Work, Russo Lee Gallery, Portland, OR.
  • Jo Hamilton: Intertwined, YaloRUN, Water Valley, MS.
  • 2016
  • Jo Hamilton, Cannon Beach Arts Association, Cannon Beach, OR.
  • 2015 
  • I Crochet Portland, Permanent installation in the foyer of the White Stag building, Portland, OR.
  • Arthur Animated, Public Mural Animation, Toride Train Station, Japan.
  • Whom, Laura Russo Gallery, Portland, OR.
  • 2014
  • Our House of Portland: A Portrait in Yarn, SUM Gallery (October), Q Center (November), Our House of Portland (December), Portland, OR.
  • Contemporary Oregon Visions, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR.
  • 2011
  • Faces, Cafe Grumpy Greenpoint & Cafe Grumpy Chelsea, New York, NY.
  • 2010 Pigeon Portraits, The Proper, Portland, OR.
  • 2009 Portland Portraits, Visage Gallery, Portland, OR.
  • I Crochet Portland, Downtown Stumptown, Portland, OR.

Group Exhibitions

  • 2019

  • Fiber Art Fair, Seoul Art Center, South Korea.
2018 Chaozhou International Embroidery Art Biennale, Chaozhou Museum, Guangdong, China.
  • From Lausanne to Beijing 10th International Fiber Art Biennale, Tsinghua University Art Museum, Beijing. China.  
  • In a Different Voice: Fiber Art in A Care Narrative, Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.  
42 Contemporary Artists + The Enter Art Foundation Collection, Gerichtshöfe, Berlin Art Week, Germany.
  • Art Market San Francisco, Russo Lee Gallery Booth, San Francisco, CA.  
Enter Art Foundation, Epicenter, Stockholm Art Week, Sweden.

  • 2017
  • Lost, Willner Brauerei, Berlin, Germany.
  • Symmetry Breaking, The Art Gym, Marylhurst University, Marylhurst, OR.
  • Seattle Art Fair, Russo Lee Gallery Booth, Seattle, WA.
  • Selfie, The Schelfhaudt Gallery, Bridgeport, CT.
  • 2016
  • Group Exhibition of Gallery Artists, Laura Russo Gallery, Portland, OR.
  • Fiberart International 2016, Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • 2015
  • Group Exhibition of Gallery Artists, Laura Russo Gallery, Portland, OR.
  • Face It: The Face in Contemporary Art, Onsite:Brooklyn, New York, NY.
  • 2014
  • A Likeness: Works in Contemporary Portraiture, Archer Gallery, Clark College, Vancouver, WA.
  • I’ll Show You Mine: Contemporary Artists Explore Family Portraiture, Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, CA.
  • Quilt! Knit! Stitch! Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR.
  • Art Beat Exhibition: Celebrating 15 Years of Creativity on OPB, Pioneer Place, Portland, OR.
  • Bodies, Juried by Elizabeth A. Brown, North Seattle Community College, Seattle, WA.
  • The Art of Craft, Gatehouse Arts, Harlow, UK.
  • 2013
  • Group Exhibition of Gallery Artists, Laura Russo Gallery, Portland, OR.
  • Against the Bias, Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, Smith Center for Healing & the Arts, Washington, DC.
  • New Views, Laura Russo Gallery, Portland, OR.
  • 2012-2013
  • BAM Biennial 2012: High Fiber Diet, Juried by Elissa Auther, Elizabeth A. Brown, Stefano Catalani & Marci McDade. Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA.
  • 2012
  • Ladies' Choice, Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WA.
  • 13: Sum Gallery, Portland, OR.
  • Part & Parcel: The Deconstruction of the Female Form in Contemporary Art, Curated by Bonnie Gloris, Arts Guild New Jersey, Rahway, NJ.
  • 2011
  • GULP YARN BANG! Curated by Rene Trevino, School 33 Art Center, Baltimore, MD.
  • Art in the Mayor's Office, Portland City Hall, Portland, OR.
  • Lost and Found: The Art of Reuse, The Peoples' Art of Portland Gallery, Portland, OR.
  • The 2nd Annual New Brow of Portland, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, Portland, OR.
  • 2009
  • BENEATH THE SURFACE: Flora, Fantasy & Fable in Surface Design, Curated by Pattern People, Nemo Design, Portland, OR.
Commissions/Private & Public Collections
  • 2018
  • Marco Balich, Milan, Italy. 
Lindsay Randolph, Boise ID.

  • 2017
  • Michael Curry, Scappoose, OR.
  • 2016
  • Joe Sacco, Portland, OR.
  • City of Seattle Portable Works Collection, Seattle, WA.
  • 2015
  • Dr. 'Sir' Steven, Reckless Driver, Driver Under the Influence, Portland Art Museum Northwest Art Collection, Portland, OR.
  • Orly, Christiane Millinger, Portland, OR.
  • Identity Thief, Private Collector, Milwaukie, WI.
  • Janet Echelman, Private Collector, Prairie Village, KS.
  • Mannequin Mask No. 2, Private Collector, Riverdale NY.
  • Homemade Man, Peter Buck & Chloe Johnson, Portland, OR.
  • I Crochet Portland, Gift from 6 donors to the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
  • 2014
  • Janet Echelman, Smithsonian Magazine. Commissioned work.
  • Illegal Alien, Gift of Peter Buck & Chloe Johnson, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR.
  • 2013
  • Portland/Paris/London Mania, Printemps Haussmann, Paris, France. Commissioned site specific works.
  • Groucho Gia, Private Collector, Portland, OR.
  • Hawthorne Bridge Rising, Holly Hudley, Houston, TX. Commissioned work.
  • 2012
  • Brighton Ray Bradbury, Paddy Considine, Burton-on-Trent, UK. Commissioned work.
  • Hawthorne Bridge Variation, Sabine Sexauer, Gengenbach, Germany. Commissioned work.
  • 2011
  • David Frierman, David Frierman, Portland, OR. Commissioned work. Joe Cotter & the Original Outside In Mural, Outside In, Portland, OR. Commissioned Public Art. DJ & Ursula, Bill & Uma Kremers, Portland, OR, Commissioned works.
  • Andrew Fortgang, Robyn Williams, Portland, OR, Donated to the Our House of Portland 2011 Charity Auction.
  • 2010
  • Marc & Katia Carter, Katia Carter, Los Angeles, CA. Commissioned work. John, Karen, Riley, Owen & Wyatt Hoke, John & Karen Hoke, Portland, OR. Commissioned works.
  • 2009
  • Paul Brady & Erik Van Kley, Marc Riera & Kristen White, Portland, OR. Hugo Habetz, Brooke Lack & Tommy Habetz, Portland, OR. Commissioned work. Gabriel Rucker, Cara J. Frey & Jennifer K.T. Warner, Portland, OR.

Print Media 

  • 2018
  • Charlotte Vannier, Unraveled, P200-205, Thames & Hudson, London, UK.
  • Lex Nelson, "Boise Art Museum: Jo Hamilton’s Knots in Time Features Portraits in Crochet", Boise Weekly, Jan !0.
  • 2017
  • Time Features Portraits in Crochet", Boise Weekly, Jan !0. 2017 Sarah
  • Sarah Margolis-Pineo, "Symmetry Breaking", Catalog, The Art Gym.
  • Briana Miller, "'Millennial pink' meets art in 'Symmetry Breaking' exhibit at Marylhurst", The Oregonian, November 2.
  • Charlotte Vannier, "Ceci N'est Pas Un Pull" (This Is Not A Sweater), P200-205, Pyramid Publishing, France.
  • "Views Out of Yarn", Creative Extremes: The world's most amazing creative projects, P164-167, Topp Kreativ, Germany.
  • 2016
  • Richard Speer, "Jo Hamilton at the Crossroads of Flesh and Fabric', Surface Design Magazine, Summer Issue.
  • 2015
  • Elizabeth Rusch, "Two Threads", The Community Issue, American Craft Magazine, August/September.
  • 2014
  • Richard Speer, "Jo Hamilton- Our House of Portland: A Portrait in Yarn.", Willamette Week, November 12.
  • Ellen Bakker, Textile Art Around the World (Book), P19, Netherlands.
  • Max Kutner, "High Wire”, Smithsonian Magazine, November.
  • Judy Darley, "Hooking Tactile Fine Art", Simply Crochet Magazine, United Kingdom, Issue 23.
  • Dorothé Swinkels, "A wire loose, the crochet paintings of Jo Hamilton", Textiel Plus Magazine, Netherlands, Autumn Issue.
  • Angela Sanders, "String Theory", Portland Monthly, July.
  • Scott Keith, "Vibrant Art, Rich History," Portland Tribune: NW Portland Neighborhoods, June 26.
  • Catherine Schickel, "Son crochet est un pinceau" (Her hook is a brush), Fait Main Magazine, France, Issue 34.
  • June Black & Jessi DiTillio, Jo Hamilton: Selected Works 2006-2014, catalogue funded in part by the Oregon Arts Commission.
  • "Contemporary Oregon Visions: Jo Hamilton & Irene Hardwicke Olivieri," The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art Members Magazine, Spring/Summer 2014.
  • Randi Bjornstad, "Crochet Artist Spins Amazing Yarns," Register Guard, Eugene, OR, April 10.
  • 2013
  • Mark Jenkins, "D.C. gallery shows: 'Against the Bias'", The Washington Post, December 13.
  • Rhonda Fargnoli, "From Inspiration to Crochet: Artist Profile: Jo Hamilton", Fiber Art Now Magazine, Summer Issue.
  • Judy Darley, "Threads of Splendor: Crochet As Art", Simply Crochet Magazine, United Kingdom, Issue 7.
  • Lee Lewis Husk, "Oregon's Creative Impact: 13 ideas that are changing lives", 1859 Magazine, March/April Issue.
  • Gayle Clemans, "Familiarity of fiber art rendered compelling at Bellevue Arts Museum’s Biennial", The Seattle Times, January 18.
  • 2012
  • Sigal Namir, "Knitting Me Softly", Signon Magazine, Tel Aviv, Israel, June 8.
  • Nilay Ornek,  "İtina ve tığla portreniz yapılır", Aksam, Istanbul, Turkey, June 3.
  • Daryl Brower, "The Fine Art of Crochet: Six fiber artists blur the distinction between art and craft", Vogue Knitting, May.
  • Bonnie Gloris, "Part & Parcel: The Deconstruction of the Female Form in Contemporary Art", Exhibition catalog, Arts Guild New Jersey, April.
  • Andrew Farinov, "The Crocheted Art of Jo Hamilton", The Culture of Transbaikalia, Russia, April 5.
  • "'Part & Parcel' exhibit featured at Art Guilds New jersey in Rahway", Suburban News, NJ, March 21.
  • Katherine Suarez, "Stitched Stories: Artist Jo Hamilton crochets colorful portraits of people and places", Atlas Quarterly Premiere Issue.
  • 2010
  • Bee Clinch, "Interview: Jo Hamilton", Inside Crochet, United Kingdom, Issue 8, June/July.
  • 2009
  • Christine Vitron, "Departures: About Faces", Interweave Crochet, Winter Issue.

Selected Online Periodicals

  • 2017
  • Berliner Zeitung:"Willner Brauerei Die Künstler müssen raus und feiern zum Abschied ein Festival" (The artists must get out and celebrate a festival to say goodbye), December 15.
  • The Oregonian: "10 Portland art exhibits you won't want to miss: Fall 2017 arts guide", August 20.
  • 2014
  • Light Seeking Eyes: Irene Hardwicke Olivieri, "Art+Interviews: Jo Hamilton, Portland, OR", March 14.
  • 2013
  • Knitsy: "An Artist's Portrait," Issue 5, November 2013.
  • 2012
  • Oregon Art Beat, Mike Midlo, "Jo Hamilton Crochets Works of Art", October.
  • Priscilla Frank, "Jo Hamilton's Surprisingly Surreal Crochet Portraits", June 1.
  • Mallika Rao, "Jo Hamilton's Crochet Portrait Looks Eerie in Stop Motion", May 29.
  • "Designboom presents the most surprising artists to watch", May 27.
  •"Crochet Portraits by Jo Hamilton", May 28:
  • Xeni Jardin, "Arthur Animated: Stop-motion progression of crocheted portrait", May 25.
  • 2011
  • Amir, "Best of 2011", December 28.
  • Cara Ober, "String Theory", November 30.
  • de MIguel Pascal, "Knot After Knot", September.
  • Erin Loechner, "A Crochet Mask", May 2.
  • Editor's Notes, "Best Events", April.
  • Amir, "Jo Hamilton's Crochet Heads", April 4.
  • Kristina Uriegas-Reyes, "Jo Hamilton's Amazing Faces", March 30.
  • Ellen R. Margulies, "Portraits in Yarn", February 25
  • 2009
  • Claudia Brown, "Jo Hamilton's Crochet Portraits", April.


  • 2013
  • Arts District: Rocky Mountain PBS, Denver, CO, July 25.
  • LAart: PBS SoCal, Los Angeles, CA, July 13.
  • Artifex: WCNY Channel 24, Syracuse, NY, June 23.
  • 2012
  • Oregon Art Beat: OPB, Portland, OR, October 11.
  • Girls: HBO, Season 1, Episode 5, May 13.

Grants & Awards

  • 2019 Project Grant, Regional Arts & Culture Council, Portland, OR.

  • 2018 Professional Development Grant, Regional Arts & Culture Council, Portland, OR.
  • 2014
  • Finalist, Contemporary Northwest Art Awards, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR.
  • People's Choice Award, Bodies exhibition, Seattle, WA.
  • Project Grant, Regional Arts & Culture Council, Portland, OR.
  • Career Opportunity Grant, Oregon Arts Commission, Salem, OR.
Visiting Artist/Lectures/Workshops
  • 2018
  • Artist Talk, Collectors' Forum, Boise Museum of Art, Boise, ID.
  • 2017
  • Gallery Talk, The Art Gym, Marylhurst University, Marylhurst, OR.
  • Artist Talk, Surface Design Association Conference, Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, OR.
  • 2016
  • Lecture, Columbia Fiberarts Guild, Vancouver, WA.
  • 2014
  • Artist Talk, Contemporary QuiltArt Association, Seattle, WA.
  • Gallery Talk, "Contemporary Oregon Visions" at Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene, OR.
  • Workshop Instructor/Lecture, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts,  Gatlinburg, TN.
  • 2013
  • Panelist: Craft Perspectives, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR.

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