About the Artist and His Projects
Ian Sampson is a cartoonist, printmaker, visual storyteller, and teacher. He is originally from Alabama, but he and his wife have lived in West Philly since 2008. He currently teaches undergraduate art classes to students of all levels at several area colleges. He has been creating comics for fifteen years, and his work was recently nominated for an Ignatz Award. His interests include baseball, dogs, and pork sandwiches.
I entered the Time Exchange residency hoping to learn more about the neighborhood, and through service, become more a part of it. My work largely consists of storytelling, and I thought I could tell stories about this place in a way that strengthened it, and my connection to it. Instead I was reminded of the intensely personal nature of stories, learning that the stories here are not mine to tell. Even as we share them, we put our stamp on them. This is a neighborhood whose stories deserve a broader impact, but has too long a history of outsiders shaping them for their own ends. I thank Betty Leacraft for being so open with her stories. I am eager to support efforts to chronicle the history of West Philadelphia in a way that respects and preserves the community that has lived here for so long.