Piece description from the artist
There is a sort of sadness that fills the space between an old neighborhood and the new one that is slowly taking over. It is filled with fresh franchises and paint splintered with age. Handmade for sale signs next to inflating price tags. The transplant families move in and family businesses move out. This series portrays the ever-changing landscape of gentrification projects and the impact they have on local communities. Growing up in areas of Chicago that are either no longer recognizable or are fighting to keep their integrity, this subject is very personal to the artist. Each piece in the series speaks to the space that’s created between neighborhoods in transition and the instant and enduring affects of gentrification.
Sam Kirk, a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Chicago and Brooklyn, explores culture, identity and urban politics through her art. Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, in a mixed race family, she has always been fascinated with community and culture. Taking experiences from her own upbringing and merging them with insights obtained during travel, her work is known for its vibrant color palette, whimsical characters and, profound stories laced with optimism.
Fascinated with people, their culture and how they express their identity, Sam is provoked to share stories in her work about the individuals she meets and the communities they are part of. Her creative process involves frequent voyages so she may engage with a variety of people in different cities.
Recognized for her public art and solo shows in Chicago, Sam Kirk has exhibited in New York, Miami, Washington DC, and Minneapolis. She is currently the official Chicago Made SXSW 2015 Artist, recently won the Curator’s Choice award at the Redbull Curates Chicago contest and, exhibited at Scope art fair in December 2014. She has been commissioned by Guinness, Smirnoff, Ciroc, Rolling Stone Magazine and Proctor & Gamble.
Sam earned a B.F.A. in Interior Design and a B.A. in Marketing from Columbia College in Chicago.