STAFF SPOTLIGHT | SAM JORDAN
Sam Jordan has become a familiar face for many children and families that frequent the ArtQuest studios. Sam is a ceramic artist who graduated with a BFA from UNCG. When she’s not at GreenHill as an ArtQuest Facilitator you can find her restoring her 71’ Volkswagen van, cooking delicious meals, and hiking with her husband and two dogs. It was two years ago that Sam became a volunteer with ArtQuest- “It looked like a lot of fun inside” Sam states “the kids and families making art together looked like something I would like to help out with.” After volunteering with the Learning Art Together program for several months, she joined the GreenHill team as an ArtQuest Facilitator and has gotten to know many families and children in the studios.
This spring marks Sam’s last month working with ArtQuest- she will be focusing directly on developing and selling her ceramic art. Jaymie Meyer, Director of Youth and Adult Programs, is anticipating Sam’s departure with a bit of sadness, stating “I’m going to miss Sam’s funny characters she illustrates, her positivity, her smile and her artistic gifts. All that kids are going to miss her, they’re going to come in and be sad that I’m working in ArtQuest instead of Sam.” Toni Tronu, Shop Manager, remarks on Sam’s ability to connect with children and families in ArtQuest- “One thing about Sam is that every time I come around the corner I always see her working one on one with a child, helping them to create their artwork and the kids love that experience!” We sat down with Sam to hear about her time working in the ArtQuest studios and her work as an artist.
What do you do as an ArtQuest facilitator?
I work alongside kids and families, help in the creation of artwork, refresh art activities and do a lot of cleaning and organizing. My favorite part is getting to know the kids and listen to their stories about their artwork. Receiving gifts from kids and when they insist on giving me their artwork is always very touching.
Do you have a favorite age group to work with?
I really like working with the 2 to 4 year old age, they are so expressive and they make the best artwork! It’s the time in life before kids know everything but they know how to make artwork and their creativity is uninhibited.
Has working in ArtQuest affected your creative process?
Yes! I’m inspired by the kid’s creativity. A lot of my illustrations have a playful feeling to them. They are mostly made up of animals and weird plants. I like to think of it as a cross between Dr. Suess and Where the Wild Things Are.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
When I was 4 or 5 years old- I remember in the 3rd grade I dressed up like an artist on career day. I always loved art ever since I could draw. I made art at my house and we had a lot of art opportunities in school. My mom always encouraged me to be very creative- my brothers and I would sculpt little figures out of clay and take apart our bicycles just to put them back together.
To see more of Sam's art, visit her website here.
What inspires you as an artist?
Being surrounded by nature, plants and animals, has been a source of creative inspiration for me. Seeing the funny things kids make because they make really weird things and you can’t quite tell what it is-I like using imagination to turn it into something else.
What would you say to someone who wants to pursue the arts as a career?
Take advantage of opportunities that arise, but try not to jump into things too quickly. Learn as much as you can about where you’re working and get to know yourself as much as possible. Working in ArtQuest I have learned a lot about how a non-profit organization runs, which benefits me as an artist in approaching future organizations in working with them or selling my art.
Thank you Sam for helping to make ArtQuest a fabulous place for children and families. Your dedication, humor and laughter will be missed! The GreenHill team wishes you the best of luck on your future endeavors.