En route to his museum directorship, Brian Hill has been artist, craftsman, athlete, musician -- event Santa Claus.
...Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Executive Director Brian Hill with a selection of the pottery he's made atop the dining room table he crafted.
Behind him, a china cabinet he
made from a gun case he'd previously made for his
AFTER 36 years of marriage, Brian Hill's
wife, Linda, still admires his
can set a fork on the table and it becomes a work of art," she
says in the dining room of their Trenton home.Mr. Hill
, marking his
10-year anniversary as director of the Trenton City Museum
, is something of a Renaissance man.He has played in a band, excelled as a fine woodworker, been a sculptor and ceramic artist, and restored an historic building.
As such, his
path has not always been a straight one.And yet all the side trips have served to enrich his
life experiences and add to his
talents as a museum administrator.And yes, Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus â€" his
red pickup truck is parked in the back of the museum.
Visitors to Ellarslie
, admiring the spring gardens, may stop to chat with the man laying the mulch, only to discover he
is the very same gentleman in the tux who greeted them to that last art opening.Regulars to the museum have seen him do everything from painting the walls, directing interns, organizing concerts, making house calls to artists, meeting with board members and giving opening night speeches.He
even answers the phone when you call the museum.Mr. Hill
has had close relationships with many of the artists he's
exhibited, and their artwork is displayed in his
home: Bronze figures by Kate Graves, paintings by Thomas Kelly, cartoons by Michelle Post, watercolors by Tom Malloy and ceramics by the late James Colavita.He
even has the sketch for the portrait painter Mel Leipzig made of him.
But the artist whose oeuvre is most represented in his
home is Brian Hill
.There's a ceramic pot self-portrait on top of a china closet he
made, and the dining table is made from quarter-sawn mahogany with traditional style legs and brass feet.
brother died, Mr. Hill