Sami Ali: The Mind of A Healthcare Worker During the COVID-19 Pandemic
January 7, 2022 - February 28, 2022
On view January 7- 30 at Homer Council on the Arts and January 31 – February 28 at South Peninsula Hospital
PRESS ABOUT THE SHOW
HCOA presents pandemic art show by ER doctor
Homer News, January 6, 2022
ER doctor’s paintings follow passage of pandemic
Homer News and Peninsula Clarion, January 13, 2022
From my unique perspective as both an Emergency Medicine physician practicing in Alaska during the COVID-19 pandemic and a plein air painter, these works shed light on the tense, pressure-filled medical environment that has surrounded me over the past 2 years. Emotions that we have all had recently – shock, anger, anxiety, fear, hope, hopelessness, and love- are magnified in situations of stress, and here I describe the world I navigated, from courageousness and heroism to illness and death. Sometimes whimsical, sometimes shocking, this series of portraits and abstracts will allow an impassioned glimpse into the turbulent, sometimes chaotic, mind of a healthcare worker during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sami Ali is an emerging artist who credits her passion for painting to her curious nature and her love of a challenge. Born in Vietnam, her family fled to America as part of the American Embassy rooftop evacuation in 1975 during the fall of Saigon. She lived in Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois, Alabama and Louisiana before settling in Alaska, so through the years she learned to be adaptable, make friends, and find creative outlets for herself. Although she dabbled in other artistic pursuits over the years, it was not until she discovered oil painting that she felt a true outlet of expression. She never shies away from a challenge, so the challenge of alla prima painting, especially plein air painting, appealed to her sense of creativity and reward.
Her bold and whimsical approach to representational painting contributes to her modern style, as does her textural use of paint. She loves working in a wide landscape format as she sees the world through this dynamic lens, and she finds portrait painting analogous to completing the Sunday NY Times Crossword.
She is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and continues to practice at the busiest emergency room in Alaska. She also serves as the Business Manager for Alaska Emergency Medicine Associates. Sami spends most of her time between Alaska and Hawaii where she is inspired by the ocean, and when not painting she can be found either in the kitchen making homemade eggrolls or on the river salmon fishing. Her husband Steve is simultaneously her biggest fan and biggest critic, and their dog, Bella, is her plein air painting companion. https://www.samialiart.com/
Nature isn’t just awesome, it’s actually super cool, and I didn’t even discover that until I took up oil painting. I had been that person that would drive up to a lookout, take a photo which I would never look at again, and drive on. Now that I’m standing in one spot for hours painting I can finally see why a mountain is a purple majesty and that no two sunsets are alike. I hope that the awe, magic and inspiration I feel when I’m painting is conveyed to the viewer, who in turn may also have a greater appreciation for just how cool not only Nature is, but also how cool it is to be alive!