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Kevin Sampson, Artist in Residence [Opens June 30, 2018]

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Artist Kevin Sampson. Credit: John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Kevin Sampson: Artist in Residence
C. D. Mallory Building
Opening June 30, 2018

This summer, Mystic Seaport will inaugurate its artist residency program with leading American self-taught artist Kevin Sampson of Newark, New Jersey. Beginning in June, Sampson will be on the Museum’s campus, living aboard a vessel docked at the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard, and fully engaged with the Museum community in the lead up to an exhibition of his work.

Sampson began his career in the New Jersey police force, and was the first African-American composite police sketch artist in the United States. Following his career, he developed a unique artistic practice transforming found materials such as cement, bones, tiles, fabric, paints, and wood into powerful sculptures that speak to family, memory, and loss, through the lens of the African-American experience. Sampson feels a strong connection to maritime culture, stating, “My love of ships, salt, and the sea is limitless.”

In addition to existing work, the residency will permit Sampson to make a new art installation in the C. D. Mallory Building, inspired by the Museum, including materials from around the campus. Visitors will be invited to watch the artist at work, and to engage with him as he draws the very fabric of Mystic Seaport into a new and powerful vision of the American maritime experience.