Soteris Sam Roussi
Soteris Sam Roussi was born in Niagara Falls and studied painting at SUNY Buffalo (B.A., '67) and Ohio State University (M.A.,'69). He taught at the university level for ten years, five at Georgia State University. Sam received numerous awards in his early career including a Fellowship for Drawing from the Massachusetts Endowment for the Arts and Humanities (1977), and an invitational exhibit at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, “Seven Artists in Georgia” (1979). During this period Sam had gallery affiliations in Atlanta, Dallas, and Chicago. In the early 80s, circumstances required a return to New England where Sam turned to carpentry to support his family while continuing to maintain a studio in his home. A solo exhibit at the Firehouse Center for the Arts, Newburyport, MA (2017) sparked Sam’s return to promoting his work online, in print, and in juried exhibitions. He continues to be recognized for his unique style of painting. Sam resides in Westfield, Massachusetts.
My work in acrylic and dry pigment appears visually to be a fusion of fresco and encaustic techniques. The marks have their own presence independent of figurative imagery and are an expression of creative energy. Originally inspired by hobo iconography, I’ve developed a vocabulary of marks that play with rich forms and symbolic references competing on the painting’s surface like participants in a contentious visual debate. The composition emerges organically as random marks gel into clusters of rendered dilemmas. The marks become entanglements... a melee of forms, often whimsical, occasionally raw, and visceral. Moments of action and stagnation - you must have both to reach the viewer’s nonverbal collective unconscious, which in turn, provides the observer an encounter with angst, and an opportunity to ponder. Through dissonance, I aspire, struggle, reconcile and proceed forward. Create then reject. Rebuild, reject then create again.