Graduating from Central in 1958, the year of the integration crisis, Sammy enrolled at Little Rock University, now the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where his mentor was Little Rock artist Edwin Brewer. After a year, Sammy went on to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville (1959-60) where he took courses in art history and design, and then returned to Little Rock University for two years. It was during this period in 1962, that in the company of his father, Sammy made his first trip to New York. He saw Picasso's Guernica, Pollocks, de Koonings and works by Lee Bontecou at the Museum of Modern Art. Ad Reinhardt's black paintings made a lasting impression: he was impelled by the length of time it took for the eyes to adjust to the lowered light and see the paintings; and has long been driven by the power and effect of the subdued matte finish.
1962 was also the year his work was first accepted into the Arts Center's annual Delta, a competitive exhibition open to artists in the region. Nosegay with Kohlrabi was juried into the exhibition by Richard Diebenkorn, an artist temperamentally sympathetic to Sammy's developing abstract expressionist style.
Spurred on by these accomplishments, Sammy continued painting. In 1964, on scholarship, he studied drama at the Art Center's School of Art and Drama, and that year, R is 17 became his second work to appear in the Delta. In 1965, Sammy spent a year in California, painting and working with the San Francisco Mime Troupe designing sets and directing. He returned to Little Rock in time to have The Name's Not appear in the 1966 Delta. The following year 1967, Cinzano entered the Arts Center's permanent collection as winner of the purchase prize at the 10th Delta.
Sammy's career has since blossomed with other competitive exhibition awards, solo exhibitions in Santa Fe, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Houston galleries, and the Mid-America Arts Alliance/NEA Fellowship in 1992. More recently, Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York has been exhibiting his work.
We are pleased to have Sammy as a member of our art community, and salute his talent, dedication and achievements.