Samoheyl explores replica, social commentary, nostalgia, and play through multiple art mediums. From studying painting early on, learning woodworking crafts through apprenticeships, and recently exploring textiles and puppetry, Samoheyl's medium is truly the ideas as he embraces function and form through explored materials. Originally from Deer Park, Texas, Samoheyl moved to Denver, Colorado at age 11, where he learned to be a vigilant student of his environment. Samoheyl has lived at Twin Oaks Community since 2001 where he has put into practice his recognition of the inherent value of hand making simple objects by refining his woodworking, carpentry, and artistic skills. Part social commentary, part replica, Samoheyl's work glows with a pensive yet naïve presence.
As Purl tells of his history, "I always think of my practice backwards, looking at what I'm making now and reflecting on the ideas I had in my twenties. Right out of high school, I was offered an internship with Vito Acconci to help move dirt for his Dirt Wall project at the Arvada Arts Center. Meeting Acconci was helpful as he was a radical and came out of tough circumstances. Early, I read 'Shape of Content' by then Harvard professor Ben Shan, in which he encouraged laborers to have an art practice and to work no matter what. So I did, imagining my various jobs as a way to create my own art education, always pulling from life experiences. Then moving to Twin Oaks more than 10 years ago strengthened that belief. Here, I had an apprenticeship in usefulness. I wanted to make beautiful and useful things for my community. So I focused on objects like chairs, dustpans and tool handles. So in a way, the gracefulness and simplicity of objects and spaces becomes our art. After my daughter was born 10 years ago, I was inspired by toy and nostalgia replicas as they have taken on a new meaning for me, it's a way to create and retell stories."
Sean "Purl" Samoheyl currently lives and works in Twin Oaks, an intentional ecovillage in Louisa County, Virginia. Samoheyl has exhibited several times at ADA Gallery over the past 12 years. Samoheyl is a Virginia Folklife fellow and will begin a fellowship at the Winterthur Museum at the University of Delaware this summer.
Note about the title:
The title of the show is a nod to the Fakers & The Flakers, who were spiritual utopian communities spun off from the Shakers.