© 2018 by Samantha Mack

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SCAD Open Studio 2019


Panoramic view of my studio, Fall 2019

On October 25th, the doors of Alexander Hall were finally opened to the general public for a wonderful evening of art and exchange. After weeks of preparation leading up to the event, it was so enjoyable to unveil my current studio practice and engage in meaningful conversations with visitors.



The experience of transforming my studio space over the first few weeks of the quarter was an extremely satisfying one. From laying faux marble flooring to draping surfaces with reclaimed fabric, I found ways to enhance the feel of the space in keeping with my work - and have fun doing it:

Final touches such as warm lighting and full bookshelves made the space feel like home, in keeping with my nostalgic and literary inspirations.




I wanted to make the space immersive and interactive to give visitors the opportunity for expression, so I set up a “Take a Poem, Leave a Poem” station at my studio desk. In this exchange-based work, visitors were greeted with envelopes, blank paper, pens and pencils, and the following message:


“To take a sealed envelope, write a poem, note, or reflection of your own — as long or short as you’d like, signed or anonymous — seal it in an envelope, and leave it in the studio for the next visitor. Feel free to leave as many envelopes as you’d like.”


I left two empty envelopes of my own to kick off the exchange, each containing poem a I had written over the past month:


The Twenty Third Hour


The things that go unsaid

Are hanging in the rampant Tillandsia

Itching and swaying


They’re in your eyes and mine

And in the quiet

All the louder

Don’t you think?


So glaring you’d almost close your eyes

But color is a temptress


Come to the city of ghosts

Where painted dawn glints off the skull

Come, ancient souls, to do your work


To capture or be captured

The web is wide and serves us well


The words that slip through

Are whispered between dead teeth

Like white walls


The sticks and stones

Are subdued in shining labyrinths,

But no matter —

There lies more truth in battered bones

Than in bated breath.



The results of this ephemeral experiment were very interesting. As I floated in and out of my studio to explore the event, I purposely had no way of knowing how many envelopes were exchanged over the course of the night — but an unspoken chain of words had been set into motion, and I very much enjoyed this element of mystery.


As I had left two envelopes of my own, I collected two in return, and their contents were a beautiful close to the night:






Some of the other works presented that evening included 30 drawings from my In Memoriam Illustrated series, two series of works entitled Chromatic Decay, and the first of my larger graduate painting studio works, Granny Square II. You can read more about these works throughout my process blog.


A sincere thank you to all who made this event possible and everyone who stopped by. I look forward to more exchanges in the future!



In Memoriam Illustrated: Canto LI - Canto LXXX

Chromatic Decay Series I

Chromatic Decay Series II

Granny Square II