I consider myself to be a mixed-Media artist, as I work visually in many different ways, depending upon my
mood and or inspiration. I am an artist who makes found object assemblage sculptures, as well as completing
five major Murals with (City Murals) in Newark New Jersey, as well as being an accomplished illustrator and
All of my different training, skill sets and life experience, is put on display when I create a sculpture, an
installation, and or a painting.
When I construct sculptures using found objects, I consider this to be the retrieval of materials that still hold
both the memory and ultimately the power of the previous owner’s life and deeds.
In my case art making is a healing mechanism for both me and my community. My work tends to take a critical
view of social, political and cultural issues.
And In many cases I consider this form of art making to be the creation of a spiritual necklace of a vanquished
While I use a variety of materials and processes in each project, my methodology is consistent. And although
there may not always be material similarities between the different projects they are linked by recurring formal
concerns and through the subject matter.
I often engage subjects like politics, civil rights, my work often creates familiar visual signs, arranging them into
new conceptually layered pieces. My community and the world at large are a continual and recurring theme in
my work; I am a community based artist that derives both his motivation and inspiration from the human
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Kevin Blythe Sampson, 59, is a sculptor, painter, Muralist, and airbrush artist that is recognized for tackling
difficult issues that concern him and his Newark, N.J., neighbors.
Kevin Blythe Sampson was born in Elizabeth NJ on November the 28th 1954. He is a product of growing
up in a household that was totally committed to civil rights and community concerns, and this continues to be a
recurring theme in his work. Kevin considers himself to be a “we shall over come Baby.”
Kevin’s father, Stephen Sampson (deceased) was a community leader in both Elizabeth New jersey and in
other parts of the state; He is Kevin’s most important role model. Stephen Sampson remained a community
leader for over 60 years until his death, in 2005. At the end of his life Stephen got involved in senior citizens
rights and the rights of many of the new Haitian immigrants currently residing in the city of Elizabeth.
The City of Elizabeth honored Kevin’s Father by naming the new senior citizen complex the “Stephen Sampson
Kevin Sampson grew up in house hold where many of the local marches were planned and many national
leaders would meet with his father. They included Ruby Dee, William Kunsler, Malcolm X, Dick Gregory and
even Robert Ferris Thompson, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and many more. This had a strong effect on
both Kevin’s Art and his life
Kevin became a police officer and a composite sketch artist in the city of Scotch Plains New Jersey was
he served for over 19 years.
He received numerous commendations for his work as both a police composite artist and a detective including
the 200 clubs medal of valor, (for saving a life). He took an early retirement after the death of both his wife
and an infant son, in separate illnesses.
Kevin and his two young children who had lived in Englishtown NJ for seven years now moved to the
(ironbound section) of Newark New Jersey were he has lived for over 19 years.
Because of Kevin’s background utilizing the airbrush in rendering composite sketches, Kevin was offered a
teaching position at the Newark school of fine and industrial art where he taught (Airbrushing Tech’s and #
dimensional Design) for over 16 years until the schools closing in 1995. Kevin also attended Lincoln University
Pa, for two years, Parson School of Design (two years) and is a graduate of the Newark School of fine and
industrial art. Kevin has continued teaching at various art schools and community programs, including Currently
running workshops at Rugters Paul Robenson Gallery.
Kevin has been a gallery artist with Cavin-Morris gallery N.Y, N.Y since 1992
He is was the head art teacher for the ironbound community center in Newark with New Jersey after 3 (the
funding Agency), for over 12 years.
He is a mentor to many of Newark youths and has assistant a whole crop of young artist in obtaining
admissions into the various art schools in the metro area. Kevin was successfully walked over ten young
people into and through various Art schools in New York.
His work is in numerous collections including several museums. He is a past artist in residence at the
Cathedral of St John the Divine and maintains a close friendship with his Mentor (the Retired Dean of the
Cathedral) the Very reverend James parks Morton.
Kevin has received the Maria Walsh Sharp foundations residency and the Joan Mitchell artist grant, as well
as awards from various art councils throughout the state.
Recently Kevin has given lectures with the Smithsonian institutes traveling exhibition service, in conjunction
with the Ancestry and innovation (American Museum of Folk art at various museums across the south. As well
as giving artist talks (on multiple occasions At Columbia University Teachers College (Master Candidates) with
Brook Anderson (Instructor Racial Diversity in Art).
Over the course of the past three years Kevin and his “Crew” have completed over four murals with the
City of Newark’s, ”City Mural Program”. He has also been the subject of several news segments on his work
with “city Murals” and his work with inner city youth.