Gyan Samara, MFA


Gyan Samara 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 portraits in his studio or plein air plain painting.

  • Gyan Samara, MFA, 2018

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


Gyan Samara

Artist Resume


  • Plein Air and Portraits, 2 Dog Restaurant, Gainesville GA, 3/2018
  • Faces, Sweet Breads Cafe, Demorest GA; 01/2018 - 04/2018
  • Plein Air Paintings of North Georgia, Sweet Breads Cafe, Demorest, GA; 10/2017 - 01/2018
  • Summer Plein Air Paintings of 2015, Haitian American Museum of Chicago: 02/2016
  • Chicago Neighborhoods, Treasurer’s Office City Hall, Chicago, IL: 01/2015 to 06/2016
  • Colores y Sabores de Mexico, Galeria Plastika de Arte, Mexico City, Mexico: 2009


  • Alumni Group Exhibit, Landmark School, Beverly, MA; 11/2017 - 01/2018
  • 70th Annual Membership Exhibit, Quinlan Art Center, Gainesville GA; 10/2017 - 11/2017
  • Pop-Up Gallery, State of the Art, Tradition Gastropub and Bar, Chicago, IL: 04/2016
  • Affair of the Arts: Fine Art Fair & Artisan Gift Show, Spring Grove, IL: 03/2016
  • Farm Country, State of the Art, Tradition Gastropub and Bar, Chicago, IL: 02/2016 to 03/2016
  • Group Exhibit, Zou B Art Center, Chicago, IL: 2013
  • Westhill Gala, Santa Fe, Mexico City, Mexico: 2010
  • M.F.A. Thesis exhibition, The American Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA: 2000


  • 57th Street Art Fair, Chicago, IL: June 4th and 5th 2016
  • Wells Street Art Fair, Chicago, IL: June 11th and 12th 2016


  • Galeria Plastika de Arte, Mexico City, Mexico, 2009 - 2011
  • Howard Gallery, New Hope PA: 2006 - 2007


  • Westhill Institute, Mexico City Mexico: 2008-2011
  • The Children's Home, Mt. Holly NJ: 2001 - 2003
  • Graterford State Penitentiary, City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, Philadelphia, PA, 2002
  • Youth Study Center, City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, Philadelphia, PA, 2002
  • The Big Picture Mural Arts Program, Philadelphia, PA, 2001


  • Plein Air Painting: Landscapes of North Georgia and North/ South Carolina, 2016 to Present.
  • The Painted Portrait Project: Portraits of People from all Walks of Life, 1997 - Ongoing

Private Collections

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


  • Master of Education, Endicott College, Beverly, MA, USA, 2017
  • Master of Fine Arts, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 2000
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA,1995