Samantha French
Samantha French

Leading up to the annual MCAD Art Sale, we spoke with some of the top sellers from the past two decades. Here, Samantha French describes what the sale has meant to her.

Samantha French’s current body of work explores the idea of escape, the tranquility, and nostalgia for the lazy summer days of her childhood. The series is inspired by French’s own reflections and memories of her childhood summers spent in the lakes of Northern Minnesota. French actively exhibits her paintings and is included in many private and public collections throughout the country while her work has garnered extensive international and national press. Born and raised in north central Minnesota, she is a full-time painter and keeps a studio in Brooklyn.

What medium(s) do you primarily work in?

I'm an oil painter. I also make high-quality archival prints in various sizes from my original work.

What has MCAD meant for you in terms of launching your creative career?

MCAD gave me a rare opportunity to sell my work and be a part of the greater art community in Minneapolis while I was still in school and as an alum getting my bearings the first few years out of school.  

Where are you now in your career/what does your artistic practice look like?

I'm a full-time painter in New York. I spend my days painting, doing research/photography for upcoming works, and working my print business which consists of reproductions of my original work.

Can you describe a memorable sale or moment from the Art Sale?

Every year was something different. I remember the first piece I sold (and it was the only piece I put in). It was pretty exhilarating. There were years when all my work sold in the first half hour and years when I got to do live television spots—it was a pretty exhilarating experience. I also met so many collectors and gallerists from Minneapolis and was able to launch a full-time career from those contacts and the confidence I got having my work at the Art Sale.

What Art Sale advice would you give young MCAD artists?

Don't be afraid to put your work out there and keep doing it every year you can. I would also say don't worry about trends or what you think people will buy. It will be better in the long run if you put good quality work into the sale and people will come back year after year.