Local Folks: Ed Hall

Local Folks: Ed Hall

Despite his social interactions being limited for the past couple of years by personal health issues and pandemic restrictions, San Marco resident Ed Hall’s voice and visual commentary have been seen and heard in publications in the U.S. and around the world. Hall’s profound and wickedly hilarious political and editorial cartoons and award-winning illustrations deliver painful and poignant truths about the human condition.

Hall’s megawatt smile and good natured, sociable, easy-going manner disguise a dedicated, hard- working, illustrator. Syndicated since 2000, he produces at least two cartoons a week (usually 10) as well as contributing to the Baker County Press where his work has been published for 30 years. But cartoons are just a small bit of his prodigious talent. Hall has won numerous awards for his fine art (his first at age 12) and exhibits locally at The Vault Gallery in San Marco. He currently has an exhibit “From the Archives” at The Art Center Gallery in San Marco through April 15th.

Growing up in Mandarin, Hall attended Loretto Elementary, Wolfson High School and earned an MFA at the University of Florida. He credits his UF professor UF, Jerry Cutler, as a big influence. “He taught me to be fearless in my art.” In addition to his personal artistic achievements Hall was an adjunct professor at University of North Florida and Flagler College in St. Augustine.

Hall’s grandparents’ farm on the St. John’s River was the setting for an “idyllic childhood.” He and his brother Dave hunted and fished, and Ed rode his bike to local artist Carole Terry’s house in Fruit Cove for art lessons. Of course, surfing was a favorite past time. His parents, Amanda and Harold Hall encouraged their son’s artistic nature; his mom would get butcher block paper and sit him down on the kitchen floor and just let him draw. No one was spared his witty portrayals – his mom in curlers- his teachers – his pets – he drew everything around him. And draw he does! He draws while in his car waiting for a streetlight to change; he keeps a notebook by the bed in case he wakes up so he can sketch an idea before going back to sleep. His brain is always “firing on all cylinders” as the expression goes!

He remarked, “I have stayed very busy, but it has been difficult not being able to participate in art openings, exhibitions and not be able to see family and friends. Losing Remmy (his beloved dog) was one of the low points of this time.” Hall did innumerable drawings, paintings and woodcut prints of his favorite pet. Ed and Emmy (who recently celebrated 25 years of marriage plus 7 years of dating) share similar interests, they met at UF School of Art and Architecture, enjoy the same kind of music, and make each other laugh. Hall’s wife Emmy is his staunchest fan and harshest critic. He remarked cheerfully, “If I get a laugh or even a wince out of her, then I know I’ve done my job for that day. If I get stuck, she says, “What are you trying to say?’ This philosophy works well for all types of art, and it might be my favorite quote.”

Emmy said, “Living with Ed has been an interesting journey. He is always observing and commenting on the world around him and events around the world. There is always lively debate and conversation. It is interesting to see how his thoughts and opinions evolve into his work whether it’s through printmaking, paintings, cartoons or graphics.”

By Peggy Harrell Jennings
Resident Community News

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