Past Exhibition (2024)

Ali Kaeini, Neha Misra, Hien Kat Nguyen, Kat Thompson

February 10–March 16, 2024, Hamiltonian Artists’ annual group exhibition, debuts the work of our new distinguished 2023–25 fellows: Ali Kaeini, Neha Misra, Hien Kat Nguyen, and Kat Thompson. Each year, serves as a snapshot of the newest Hamiltonian Artists fellows’ creative practices, exhibiting the work they plan to expand upon during their two-year fellowship.

This year the group exhibition will present artworks that recontextualize cultural, religious, and political symbols and signifiers. Across painting, sculpture, photography and games, each artist conjures a distinctive visual language in which icons, objects, images and materials are given new meaning.

While each artist’s work is grounded within the concerns and conditions of modern life, their roots are embedded within ancient traditions, intergenerational legacies and lore. Inspired by Iranian tales and Islamic architecture, Ali Kaeini’s monumental works on raw canvas traverse between representation and abstraction—pulling viewers into an ornate, liminal space occupied by childlike curiosities and unsettling disarray. Hien Kat Nguyen’s sculptures deploy juxtapositions and allegories that grapple with the implications of Vietnamese American identity and first-generation cultural assimilation. Kat Thompson’s photo-based works weave a tapestry of cultural hybridity that illuminates a slippery space somewhere between the South and the Caribbean, challenging viewers to consider the nuances of Black belonging in an ever-shifting diasporic landscape. In the spirit of possibility and play, Neha Misra’s paintings look to the horizon and bird flock migration patterns. Through beauty and poetics, Misra calls us to envision our “more than human world” through a lens of hope, empathy, and solidarity.

In conversation, the exhibited artworks will highlight the universality of storytelling and symbolism, and their innate potential as tools for cultivating common ground. Here, past and persisting tensions are brought to the surface—and still, tender embrace is within reach.


Ali Kaeini (b. 1987, Iran) is an Iranian artist and earned his MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.

Neha Misra नेहा मिश्रा is a self-taught eco-folk artist, a poet, and an award-winning climate justice advocate.

Hien Kat Nguyen (b. Saigon, Vietnam; lives and works in Richmond, VA) earned their BFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA (2022).

Kat Thompson (lives and works in VA) earned her BFA in Photography from George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, and MFA in Photography and Film from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.


In-person artist talk
Saturday, March 9, 5–7pm

Opening reception
Saturday, February 10, 5–7pm

Available works