“Vogue” magazine recently referred to Pittsburgh as a “city with an emerging art scene which has superseded its industrial identity.” One of those emerging talents is Sam Thorp, a painter hailing from Brackenridge, Pa.
“I’ve spent my life living on the edge of where Pittsburgh turns into Pennsyltucky,” said Sam. After graduating from Freeport High School, she went on to study at Indiana University of Pennsylvania obtaining an Art Education degree and State certification to teach K-12. One of her most influential teachers was Terri Perpich, a legendary artist with a studio in Freeport.
Sam’s parents and siblings are all artists in their own right. Though she says her talent wasn’t apparent at first, “I worked hard and studied the accomplishments of others to achieve the success I have today,” Sam said. She grew up idolizing superheroes while reading comic books, science fiction and fantasy and became interested in the artwork that came with it. Her first taste of publicity came at age fifteen at the Freeport Laube Hall Art Show. Since then, her work has been in collections all over the world including France, Holland, Australia, Israel, United Kingdom, Texas, California, New York and Detroit.
In Pittsburgh, her work has been displayed from everything to coffee shops and bars to galleries including The Warhol and Carnegie Museum of Art. In addition, she’s been an art instructor in public schools, higher education campuses, and art camps. Helping students to express themselves and appreciate the creative process led her to write a textbook, ‘Figure Framework: Textbook for Anatomy and Figure Drawing.’
Sam supports the LGBT community by organizing and curating shows for the GLCC including an installation highlighting other LGBT artists such as Mia Donna Maneer, Anna Bender, Donnie Toomer, and Caldwell. She’s also donated art to Persad and other various community fundraisers, has participated in the “Visual Aids” exhibit in NYC for the last five years, and is helping out with the Garden of Peace project which helps raise money for various LGBT issues in Pittsburgh. Her work was also featured in the GLCC of Los Angeles where her artwork is in a permanent collection.
Sam Thorp will curate her next event called “Gestures: The Fine Art of Non-Verbal Communication” at Most Wanted Fine Art as part of the First Friday Gallery Crawl on Friday, September 6. For more info about Sam Thorp, visit graphicanatomy.com.