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‘Lineillism’ creator, late Kentucky painter Jim Hall, honored by state House; exhibits, sales scheduled

By Ryan Johnson
Special to NKyTribune

Lawmakers in Frankfort gave a standing ovation during their session Wednesday, honoring a late Kentucky-born artist who created a new art form. Painter Jim Hall developed his Lineillism technique after a case of the Shingles virus temporarily marred his vision, causing him to see in all vertical lines. Hall feared he was going blind but instead of panicking, he started painting what he was seeing. While the lines eventually faded from his vision, Hall continued to paint in the Lineillism style, creating more than 100 works before he died in 2017 at the age of 84.

Painter Jim Hall’s son Mike accepts a resolution from Rep. Rick Rand who also paid tribute to NKY Filmmaker State Oldfield for the documentary ‘Lines of Sight’

Hall’s inspiring story was captured by Northern Kentucky filmmakers Steve Oldfield and Jim Hampton who created the award-winning documentary, “Lines of Sight,” currently airing on KET.

“I know Jim (Hall) was with us in the House gallery,” said Oldfield, who was recognized during the tribute along with his mother Jean, a friend of Hall’s, and the artist’s son Mike Hall and daughter-in-law, Dena.

“We were all tearing up thinking about Jim and seeing the respect lawmakers and visitors had for him after hearing his story,” Oldfield said.

State Rep. Rick Rand, who represents Henry County where Hall grew up, drafted a resolution to honor the painter.

“When I saw the documentary on KET, I thought, ‘What an inspiring story,’” Rand said. “Hall is a role model for all Kentuckians to follow when faced with adversity.”

Thanks to Rand, Hall’s story is now part of the historical record in the House of Representatives.

“This all means so much to our family,” said Mike Hall. “I know Dad was here with us, smiling from ear-to-ear.”

The resolution will be featured in a traveling Art Exhibit about Hall created by Oldfield and Hampton called “Lineillism Revealed.” It premiered at the Behringer Crawford Museum in 2017 and is headed to Thomas More University later this year, where Oldfield lectures in the Communication Department.

Hall’s son Mike is organizing the sale of a dozen of his father’s paintings next month. They will be auctioned through Everything But The House, April 1-7.

Connect to other NKyTribune stories about Jim Hall here.

One of Jim Hall’s paintings

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