Kevin Sampson: Black and Blue
September 28, 2018–January 27, 2019
Kevin Sampson (b. 1954) is a sculptor, painter, and muralist recognized for tackling difficult issues through socially-engaged artwork. Inspired by Caribbean and American Southern artistic traditions, he transforms discarded objects and ephemera into intricate vessels and memorials that have personal significance to him or his subjects. His sculptures draw spiritual energy from the community at large and reflect an intimate understanding of the contemporary African-American experience. Born and raised in Elizabeth, NJ, Sampson served for 18 years as a New Jersey police officer and has lived and worked in Newark for the past two decades. The exhibition incorporates sculptures, drawings, a site-specific mural, and a recent series of porcelain sculptures responding to the Black and Blue Lives Matter movements. Sampson addresses these complicated issues from his perspective as an African American artist as well as a retired police officer.