Gyan Samara, MFA

Just finished painting First Slice Pie Cafe  June 13th 2015.

First Slice Pie Cafe

  • 24"x18", Oil Pastel on Stained Raw Wooden Panel, June 3, 2015.
  • Artist Gyan with his finished painting of the First Slice Pie Cafe from the corner of Balmoral and Ashland in the Chicago neighborhood of Andersonville.


Gyan Samara (born 1972) is an American painter. He was born in France and raised in New England. He has lived and traveled all over North America and Europe, studying in the the Netherlands, Mexico and in the United States. For his undergraduate studies he attended the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah Georgia, where he obtained a BFA in 1995. In 2000 he earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia.

His work has evolved over the years, as a fauve-realist, painting in initially in acrylics to gradually exploring the mediums of oils and oil bars. Today Mr. Samara works in a variety of mix mediums and medias, but primarily he paints in oil pastels. He spends much of his time painting in his studio or plein air plain painting.

  • Gyan Samara, MFA, 2016

Artist Statement

As a fauvist-realist, my work reflects the way I see color and movement in life. By executing the work on-site, the elements of the natural world allow me to fully appreciate the raw feel of these urban and rural settings. I capture the subtle variances of colors viewed in our natural surroundings, and express them via gesture and line born from natural tremors in my hands. I embrace these variances, and take advantage of them. Thus, creating the energetic, rich, and vivid lines I seek when applying color, or while carving out the paint. I welcome this natural expression of textured movement, using organic lines to blend colors in my paintings.

I work on unfinished pine surfaces, stained in a variety of colors from deep mahogany to intense fuchsias. As I add and remove color, the surface is reflected in the finished piece, creating a somber, yet energetic, feel. My paintings are prepared fairly aggressively, as I pound layers of similar colors atop each other. Then, I gradually move onto more subtle color effects, gently tapping and blending the pigments with my fingers. The final steps of my process are achieved through adding and removing oil pastel, fusing these different techniques. Ultimately, this develops a refined expression, the finished piece.

  • Gyan Samara, MFA


Art Fairs

  • Wells Street Art Fair, Chicago, IL: June 11th and 12th 2016
  • 57th Street Art Fair, Chicago, IL: June 4th and 5th 2016
  • Affair of the Arts: Fine Art Fair & Artisan Gift Show, Spring Grove, IL: March 13th, 2016

Plein Air Painting Events

  • The Village of Schaumburg, 2016 Prairie Plein Air Competition and Show, Schaumburg, Illinois, Competition: Saturday, April 29th to Friday, May 13 2016 and Show: May 20th to June 30th, 2016

    Art Exhibits

    • Pop-Up Gallert, State of the Art, Tradition Gastropub and Bar, Chicago, IL: April 6th 2016
    • Farm Country, State of the Art, Tradition Gastropub and Bar, Chicago, IL: Feb & March 2016
    • Summer Plein Air Paintings of 2015, Haitian American Museum of Chicago: Feb 2016
    • Chicago Neighborhoods, Treasurer’s Office City Hall, Chicago, IL: Dec 2015 to Present
    • Group Exhibit, Zou B Art Center, Chicago, IL: 2013
    • Westhill Gala, Santa Fe, Mexico City, Mexico: 2010
    • Colores y Sabores de Mexico, Galeria Plastika de Arte, Mexico City, Mexico: 2009
    • Group Exhibit, Howard Gallery, New Hope PA: 2006
    • M.F.A. Thesis exhibition, The American Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA: 2000


    • Westhill Institute, High School, 3 multicultural murals; Mexico City Mexico: 2008-2011
    • The Children's Home, 6 Theme Bedrooms Mt. Holly NJ: 2001 - 2003

    • Olney High School, Stetson Middle School, City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, Philadelphia, PA, 2001
    • Stetson Middle School, City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, Philadelphia, PA, 2000

    Private Collections

    • Boston MA, Chicago, IL, New York City NY, USA, Philadelphia PA, USA, Geneva, Switzerland, Mexico City, Mexico


    • Master of Fine Arts, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 1998-2000
    • Bachelor of Fine Arts, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA,1991-1995