Samantha Mitchell and Aric Verrastro, Bushel, steel, powder coated brass, polyester cord, thread, acrylic paint, 2016

Pigment of Our Imagination

An exhibition of collaborative and independent work by Samantha Mitchell and Aric Verrastro. The work is currently on display at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in the Geoffrey A. Wolpert Gallery from Oct. 20th to Dec. 13th.

Samantha Mitchell and Aric Verrastro, Recycle, steel, sterling silver, copper, powder coated brass, thread, acrylic paint, 2016

Samantha Mitchell

Childhood is fleeting, gone the moment we realize how truly special it is. Adulthood is elusive, ever looming yet continually out of reach. At 31 years old I feel as though I am no longer a child yet not quite an adult. I am constantly in search of the moment when I will transition out of this midpoint. Adulthood is my mythical beast; something out of a storybook that many claim to exist but no one has yet to prove. I’m beginning to believe that being “grown-up” is really a state that doesn’t exist. In my current body of work I am exploring personal memories, imagery from my childhood, and experiences I gain in observing my son, all in an attempt to better understand myself, and what it means to be an adult. Drawing inspiration from the illustrations in Dr. Seuss stories and 90’s Nickelodeon cartoons, my work filters images and memories from my childhood through my continually maturing vision. This distillation explores the opposing natures of adulthood and childhood. Bright colors and simple shapes become finely crafted, sophisticated forms. Every piece is equally informed by my not too distant childhood and the ever-looming state of adulthood. These pieces hang in the same developmental limbo in which I continually find myself.

Samantha Mitchell, Pipe Dreams Necklace, copper, brass, rubber, powder coat, 2016

Samantha Mitchell, Bedrock Brooches, brass, powder coat, 2016
Aric Verrastro


I have recently been displaced from living in a city, which has left an emptiness in my life. The creation of each piece has become a method to fill the void, and a reflection of the many aspects of city living. The forms are architectural, modular, constructed from steel, becoming allegorical representations of the energy of a thriving, vibrant environment. The variations of forms show diversity and are linked to concepts of dancing lights, and the beautiful musical chaos in the streets.  Steel is painted with vibrant colors giving vitality to the cold, hard material. Stitching softens the hard-edged forms creating a sense of comfort and approachability paralleling my nostalgia for city life. The thread acts as a metaphorical timeline of an individual’s pathway meandering through the busy streets.  Each break in the thread signifies a person amongst the many. Although city living can often create distance between people, there remains a sense of connection and community. As jewelry, the body completes the piece as people fill and give life to architectural spaces, expressing the vitality and connection I feel towards the urban human experience. 

Aric Verrastro, That's My Hood, steel, copper, nuts and bolts, polyester cord, PLA, acrylic paint, thread, 2016

Aric Verrastro, Burroughs, steel, polyester cord, PLA, nuts and bolts, thread, acrylic paint, 2016

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Comment by Brigitte Martin on October 21, 2016 at 8:37am

Just messaged you with a question :)

Comment by Aric Verrastro on October 21, 2016 at 8:34am

Yes Brigitte. There are 5 collaborative pieces and about 8 independent pieces from each of us in the exhibit.

Comment by Brigitte Martin on October 21, 2016 at 7:53am

Hello Sam and Aric - Are there more pieces on display than you are showing in this blog post?

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