It was in a hospital room as a child that Samantha first began to create art. At nine months old, she survived a life-threatening battle with bacterial meningitis. As a result, Samantha spent much of her youth enduring reconstructive surgeries. The physical impact of the disease is apparent; scars cover much of her skin, and she is missing several fingers and toes and half of her right foot. The emotional impact, though less visible, was also profound
Samantha began studying art at a young age and went on study Fine Arts from the Columbus College of Art and Design. Today, she is a successful working artist also known as “PainterSam.” Samantha and her artwork have received regional and national media attention, including features on TLC’s NYInk; NBC, ABC and Fox news; and in various publications.
As an adult, Samantha experienced another profound tragedy when she lost a newborn son. She then developed Butterfly Portraits, a series of paintings dedicated to families that have lost a child. She was honored as a 2011 “Mom of the Year” by Columbus Parent’s Magazine for this series.
The scars left by Samantha’s experiences have inspired her and informed her artwork. “Scars, Portraits and Beyond” reflects Samantha’s life and explores how our scars, whether external or internal, make us who we are. The collection includes memorial portraits of famous artists and other influential or iconic figures as well as cityscapes that are meaningful to Samantha.
“My scars are my story and I am proud of them. I embrace the curious stares of strangers, and welcome the opportunity to interact with them,” says Samantha. “Most of all, I hope they look as intently at my art and see that I am following my dreams.”
This is Samantha’s first solo exhibition. To view more of her work, visit: www.paintersam.com.
Samantha also works with the National Meningitis Association to help raise awareness about bacterial meningitis and educate others about its prevention. For more information, visit: www.nmaus.org.