Samantha and I were introduced by a mutual friend earlier this year. Our first conversation was via email and I could tell how we were racing to respond back and forth with each other, we already felt like old friends. Add to our easy back and forth a shared history at RISDI and I felt like Samantha knew a part of me that comes from deep within.
For both of us, going to art school was a revolutionary act. One that continues to inform our lives in ways we have yet to discover. There are few people who can understand the obsession of spending an entire summer drawing cross sections of broccoli. Or can remember the smell of the Nature Lab, or how long it takes to walk to Geoff's between classes. More than that, Samantha and I share the feeling of what it is like when you are finding out who you are. We are artists and this simple act will connect us forever.
Outside of her immense talent and loving spirit, what I most admire about Samantha is her ability and fearlessness around diving in. She not only examines her art from every which way, but opens her life and experiences to the same curiosity. She wonders a lot and I like that.
It is a special thing to have a friend whose work you recognize out there in the world. Few things make me happier that to read and article or a book, or see a beautiful print and know immediately without reading the credits that it belongs to Samantha. It's like being visited by a beautiful butterfly while just going about my day. I think we often take for granted the beauty in these moments. When we are witness to a friend's art in passing. A quiet reminder that we know good people and that just maybe we are one too.
Samantha Dion Baker is JOY.