A native of Tennessee, Hamlett Dobbins spent most of his life in Memphis. He received his BFA from the University of Memphis and his MFA from the University of Iowa. Dobbins has taught at University of Mississippi, Memphis College of Art, University of Iowa, University of Memphis and at Rhodes College. He ran an alternative exhibition space called Material and worked as a curator at Delta Axis @ Marshall Arts as well as Clough-Hanson Gallery at Rhodes College. In 2000 he received a fellowships and residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art. He has received grants from the Pollock Krasner Foundation, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and ArtsMemphis. He has shown his work throughout the region and nationally. In 2013 he was awarded the Rome Prize and spent eleven months as a fellow at the American Academy in Rome. He now teaches Foundation Studies at the University of Memphis, in Tennessee where he lives with his family.