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Salvaged Sunshine


March 3, 2023 - March 24, 2023


Sidney Berne Davis Art Center

Event Website

Samantha Severson started the hobby of collecting recycled materials, found objects, junk drawer contents, donated trash, and other flotsam and jetsam to create art in October of 2021 as stress relief from her doctoral dissertation. Her first work was a portrait of Thomas Edison for the Edison Ford Winter Estates. After winning the People’s Choice Award in their Sustainable Conceptions Show, she realized people enjoyed her quirky art and started entering her pieces into exhibits across Southwest Florida. What began as a hobby is now a passion. Samantha became Dr. Severson in August of 2022, earning her Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Adult Learning from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. While earning her degree, she feels like she became a full-fledged artist at the same time.

Although born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Samantha considers herself a Cape Coral native, having lived in Southwest Florida since she was a child. A graduate of Mariner High School, she earned her BA in English from the University of Florida and her Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Nova Southwestern University. Samantha taught Language Arts for the School District of Lee County for a decade before teaching higher education at Western Governors University out of Salt Lake City, Utah, for the last ten years. She remembers taking art classes at the Alliance for the Arts and Cape Coral Parks and Recreation as a child and how much her high school art teacher, Stephan Frank, had an impact on her own teaching philosophy and outlook on life. She now spends her free time recruiting her husband, Justin, in scouring beaches for shells and trash for her artwork as well as nagging him to save toothpaste caps and his Yohoo bottle tops.