We had the good fortune of connecting with Samantha Parker and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Samantha, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk-taking is a familiar aspect of my creative process. When I arrive on site for an installation, 50% is planned and 50% is left for improvisation. Arriving with only half a plan initiates an exciting adrenaline rush and adds pressure, forcing me to the trust my abilities, process, and judgment. This all gives way to pure reactive creativity and reveals itself as visual energy in my artwork. Spontaneous actions give the work total authenticity, much like improvisational comedy or jazz–both genuine and original in their reactivity. Over-planning has the consequence of taking the fun, soulful part out of it, so I enjoy allowing for accidents, then incorporating them back into the composition. An unexpected drip of paint, for example, may become a series of drips that move in a pattern. A broken component can be manipulated into a new form. Blank pieces of material offer potential to be painted or cut on site in response to what the installation needs. I consider my site-specific works to be a visual record of my physical movement through the space, not a carefully-planned environment, but more like the remnants of a storm or party frozen for a moment in time.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I create large-scale, dramatic installations made of a range of material: PVC, paper, leather, and construction cones. They are painted and then cut by hand using either a scalpel or hot knife. My work is both technically proficient and purposeful while also unconstrained. These two sides come out in various ways–from the haphazard throwing and smearing of paint onto a surface to the intricate cutting of negative spaces between drips. The most important quality for my work to have is a sense of movement, and nothing is above being sacrificed in an effort to achieve swift gestures within a piece. I enjoy recycling materials. Sometimes I create smaller sculptures out of fragments that did not work in larger installations. Whether I am at my cutting mat in a meditative zone or on site dancing as I unravel rolls of PVC pipe, I am enamored by this creative life, where every turn presents a new and unexpected challenge within the familiarity of my artmaking practice.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I just finished a project at Seismique, which is a new and unique interactive experience museum off of S Texas 6, so I would say go there! They are offering a mind-bending experience to viewers that is well worth checking out. A short drive down the street from Seismique is Phoenicia, where they sell specialty groceries and delicious Mediterranean-style food, baked goods, and coffee. Going to these two places would make an excellent day trip for adventurers of all ages!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have been lucky to come across a series of teachers and mentors who have nudged me through various phases of my artmaking career: Brian Divis, Waldek Dynerman, Rina Yoon, Heather Brammeier, and Sandra Fernandez. Special mentions belong to Oscar Jay Gillespie and Leonard Lehrer, who greatly changed the course of my thinking, feeling, and seeking. I would like to thank my family members, friends, parents, and grandparents for enthusiastically encouraging my creative spirit. A much-deserved shoutout also goes to every gallerist and curator who has trusted me to explore at-will, often not knowing exactly what the outcome would be. I believe we are all a patchwork of those who have touched our lives, and I am no different from the rest. Thank you all for your past and continued support.

Website: http://www.sparkerstud.io
Instagram: @sparker_studio
Facebook: facebook.com/SparkerStudioUSA

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