The Armory Art Center announces a Sam Perry Retrospective exhibit. The exhibit is free and open to the public from March 16 through April 15, 2023.
Sam Perry was a longtime art instructor and Palm Beach County-based artist. The retrospective will feature Perry’s many paintings, drawings, and animations, representing a broad look at his work through the years. The exhibition is curated by Perry’s colleague, friend, and Armory Art Center faculty, Mark Cohen.
“Sam Perry was a beloved art instructor, having taught classes at the Armory Art Center ever since it opened in 1987,” said John Suau, Armory Art Center CEO. “His impact and legacy carry on across our campus and throughout Palm Beach County’s cultural community. We invite everyone to join us as we honor his life, talents, and passion for art.”
Perry was born and raised in West Palm Beach and educated at Ringling College of Art + Design in Sarasota, Florida. Later, he earned his MFA from Florida Atlantic University. Sam was self-taught in different styles and imaginative components.
He won several awards and grants, and his large-scale painting “Flashlight Gods” has hung in the Palm Beach International Airport for over 30 years. His work has appeared in numerous solo exhibitions and is collected by universities, private patrons, and museums, including the Norton Museum of Art. He has sold nationally and internationally and is recognized by fine art galleries in New York, Miami, and West Palm Beach. In the 1980s and 90s, Perry excelled as an abstract artist in commercial galleries.
After 9/11, he abandoned abstract painting and started to sketch people around him at Starbucks. Later, he sketched at Johan’s Joe in West Palm Beach, creating 64 drawings in just two months, followed by even more paintings. Figure sketching and the challenge of capturing the body in motion became lifelong pursuits. He experimented with digital imagery and a series of animations, often in collaboration with local musicians. These are just a few of his many accomplishments.
“We don’t have to make social statements that are ugly; we can make ones that are sublimely beautiful,” Perry told South Florida artist Terre Rybovich a few years ago. “That’s where we exist, in that realm of beauty.”
He continued to teach at the Armory Art Center and Palm Beach Atlantic University until his illness. Students studied with him for years, some for decades.
“Truly, Sam Perry exists in the realm of beauty now,” wrote Rybovich. “And to the extent that we can learn from his example, we can experience it in our own lives and art.”
Sam Perry Retrospective will be exhibited in Montgomery Hall at the Armory Art Center’s historic campus. The public is invited to enjoy a complimentary opening reception ($5 suggested donation) for the show on Thursday, March 16, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. For more information about the exhibition, visit https://armoryart.org/event/sam-perry-retrospective/.