Arts on the Block’s impact to our community is never more clearer than after chatting with recent alumna Sam Petros. Aside from being an artist in her own right, Sam speaks three languages, plays three instruments, loves everything Marvel and has a lifelong goal of bringing joy and wonder to children through video and movies. She joined our Pour Your Art Out program the summer after her ninth grade at Northwood High School in Kemp Mill, MD and has been beautifying her world ever since.
When asked to describe herself with just three words, this 2015 high school graduate replies unique, optimistic and open-minded. Headed to Montgomery College in the fall to study video production and camera work, her goal is to transfer to a four-year institution to complete a bachelor’s degree and then work at Marvel Comics, whose complex in-depth characters inspire her. Sam is attracted to all sorts of artistic expression, not wanting to limit herself. Pencil drawing, glass design, mosaics and video production — to name just a few — are dear to her heart. Her current project is crafting a Hyena costume from foam for an upcoming competition, as hyenas are her favorite animal.
Sam is currently working at the Gary Rosenthal Collection (GRC), where she loves utilizing the torch. It’s flexibility appeals to her desire to be creative in her own way, and the challenge of liquifying such a solid substance as glass is especially exciting. At GRC no glass is ever wasted and she spends a good chunk of her time re-crafting and repurposing glass pieces. She credits AOB with helping her obtain this terrific opportunity of working in a professional artist’s studio. Aside from cementing her interest in art, AOB specifically prepared her for the workplace by beefing up her interviewing skills and helping her build an attention-getting resume, Sam explains.
Her strong design sense, combined with a talent for empathy, made her a natural leader while in the PYAO program. She remembers advising some of the shyer, more reluctant apprentices that “in the beginning, nothing will come out perfectly.” One of her favorite AOB memories is working a booth at the Fenton Street Market a few years ago. It was a slow day so she and some of her AOB partners-in-art started dancing and soon people were stopping by in droves. This sense of community and purpose that AOB fosters will always be with her as she tackles her next adventure.
Of Ethiopian and Italian descent, Sam also enjoys skateboarding and spending time with her cat and dog. Marvel watch out — Sam’s on her way!