bennett“My scars are my story and I am proud of them. I embrace the curious stares of strangers. Most of all, I hope they look as intently at my art and see that I am following my dreams.”

It was in a hospital room as a child that Samantha first began to create art. At 9 months old, she survived a life-threatening battle with bacterial meningitis. The physical impact of the disease is apparent; scars cover much of her skin, and she is missing several fingers and toes and half of her right foot.

bennett2Samantha spent much of her youth enduring reconstructive surgeries. She had over 25 surgeries to correct the damages from the meningitis and at 38 years old, she is still having meningitis surgeries today.

Samantha began studying art at a young age and went on to study Fine Arts from the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio. Today, she is a successful working artist also known as “PainterSam.” Samantha and her artwork have received regional and national media attention, including features on TLC’s NYInk; NBC, ABC and Fox news; and in various publications.

bennett1As an adult, Samantha experienced another profound tragedy when she lost a newborn son. She then developed Butterfly Portraits, a series of paintings dedicated to families that have lost a child. She was honored as “Mom of the Year” for this series. She is now the proud mother of two boys and continues to create these portraits for families all over the world.

The scars left by Samantha’s experiences have inspired her and informed her artwork. Her art explores how our scars, whether external or internal, make us who we are.

Samantha currently works from her studio in Gahanna, OH. Sam proudly works with the National Meningitis Association to help raise awareness about bacterial meningitis and educate others about its prevention.

You can view more of Samantha’s work on her website by Clicking Here.

Images and content copyright © 2015 by Samantha Bennett
all rights reserved. Used by permission.