Sam Kirk is a multidisciplinary artist, who explores culture and identity politics through her creations. Her artwork focuses on a variety of intersections which encompass a call to celebrate differences and enact change. Her paintings include vivid powerful images of women, members of the LGBTQIA community, and those who have historically been underrepresented. Her work celebrates these people and the journeys that have made them who they are.
Throughout her childhood, her family’s frequent moves to a variety of Chicago neighborhoods sparked her fascination with the nuances of the human experience. It was during these moments where she found herself discovering the cultures of the city and sorting through her own identity as a bi-racial, queer woman. Kirk’s artwork, much like her life has been an on-going narrative about how life’s experiences impact our identity. Her vibrant color palette, intricate line-work and layered backgrounds highlight cultural communities via multi-toned figures recalled from memories of her travels throughout the world.
Kirk’s public murals often address social issues, as she intentionally uses the public space to spark dialogue around topics of equality and visibility for women, communities of color, and the LGBTQIA community.
Recently, she completed her first international mural in Casablanca, Morocco. A commission by World Business Chicago and the City of Casablanca, Kirk created the “Sister Cities” mural as a celebration of 35 years of programming between Chicago and Casablanca. She is the first woman and American to participate in their Annual CASAMOUJA Street Art Festival.
While Kirk has maintained a successful public art career, she has also exhibited throughout the US in galleries and museums. Her artwork is in several notable collections, with a recent piece about transgender identity added to the permanent collection of the National Museum of Mexican Art.
She currently has artwork at the Chicago Cultural Center, The Rebuild Foundation Stony Island Arts Bank, and The National Museum of Mexican Art.