Sam is a native of rural northwest Oklahoma and still makes his home there. His work reflects not only his country roots, but also his travels through out the USA and Europe. His interest in art developed at an early age, but he didn't pursue it until after his graduation from high school in 1963.
While serving in the Armed Forces, during the late 1960's, he spent a couple of years living in what was then "West" Germany and while there he took advantage of every opportunity to visit many parts of Western Europe, sketching and painting the people and landscapes of that part of the world. Many of his recent works were influenced by a return visit to Germany in 2003. After completion of his military service, Sam studied art at Southwestern Oklahoma State University where, in 1972, he received a degree in Art. Following graduation, Sam and his wife, Emma, owned and operated an art gallery in Oklahoma City. He also participated in numerous shows and exhibited his work in other galleries throughout the Southwest. When their oldest son approached school age, Sam and Emma returned to the "non-art related" family business in the small town of Shattuck Oklahoma. At that time, he stopped doing artwork professionally, but continued to paint and draw for his own enjoyment. In 1994, at the encouragement of his 3 children, Sam began to devote more time to his art. One of his many hobbies was collecting kaleidoscopes and he decided to add the making of them to his artistic endeavors. Since then he has constructed hundreds of them using a variety of materials to achieve many different styles and types of kaleidoscopes. In 2002 Sam returned to the field of art as a primary occupation. He has worked with many different art forms and while studying art at Southwestern Oklahoma State University selected three-dimensional art as his area of emphasis. He worked in sculpture, modeling, ceramics and jewelry design. However, he also studied drawing, painting and printmaking and has come to prefer working two-dimensionaly. He has chosen the use of Pen and Ink for his drawings and Watercolor as his selected painting medium. The subjects and styles of Sam's two-dimensional work can best be described as "Varied". He laughingly says that he is, "confused and has yet to find his artistic direction". His three children, who are all fans of different styles of his work, tease him about having multiple personalities when it comes to his art. He enjoys painting and drawing landscapes of places that he is familiar with or has visited. Sam also enjoys doing character studies that are usually composite works inspired by people that he has known rather than being representative of a specific individual. He also likes to practice his skills in composition and design by doing works with absolutely no subject mater, working instead with only shapes and color. Sam refers to this form as his "non-objective" style and says that it is the most difficult yet most rewarding style that he works in. Then there is the "whimsical" side of his art that he calls, "Esoteric Flummery". This style is more evident in his drawings, but occasionally shows up in his paintings as well. The subjects for his whimsical works range from fantasy studies of nonexistent times or places to surrealistic objects or situations that can only be found in his mind. Viewers of Sam's "Esoteric Flummery" have responded with both positive and negative comments to which Sam's usual response is, " They are just for fun and that is what art is all about."
Sam was a participant in many art festivals through out Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas from 1969 until 2009 when health issues required him to stop. However, his work can still be found in shops and galleries in several states and much of his work has found it's way to collections across the USA and several other countries.
In recent years, Sam has participated in group gallery showings as well as solo exhibits of his work. The following is a list of some of these exhibits:
May and June 2006 - Sam was honored by the "Wolf Creek Heritage Museum" in Lipscomb, Texas, with a solo exhibit of his paintings, drawings and kaleidoscopes.
July 2006 - Sam exhibited more than 35 paintings & drawings as the "guest" artist at the 29th. Annual "Sagebrush Painters Art Exhibition" in Canadian, Texas.
August 2007 - The "Naturally Yours Gallery" in Lipscomb, Texas featured Sam's work during their monthly festivities.
May and June 2008 - A solo exhibit of watercolor paintings at the "Wolf Creek Heritage Museum" in Lipscomb, Texas.
May and June 2009 - A solo exhibit of his paintings at the "Metcalfe Museum" near Crawford, Oklahoma.
May 2010 - A solo exhibit of painting at the "Plains Indian and Pioneer Museum" in Woodward, Oklahoma
October 2010 - A solo exhibit of paintings at the "Art Center" in Dumas, Texas
October 2011 - Participated in a group exhibit at the "Canadian River Art" gallery in Canadian, Texas.
May and June 2012 - Participate in a group exhibit of regional artists at the "Graceful Arts Center" in Alva, Oklahoma.
August 2012 - Featured artist in a group exhibit sponsored by the "Arnett Arts Alliance" in Arnett, Oklahoma
September 29, 2012 - Participated in a group exhibit at Arnett, Oklahoma in celebration of the 100th. Anniversary of the Ellis County Courthouse.
May 27, 2015 - "Spring Brunch" and exhibit honoring Sam Sidders at the "Canadian River Art" gallery in Canadian, Texas.
March thru June 2016 - A solo exhibit of his paintings at the "Metcalfe Museum" near Crawford, Oklahoma.
December 10, 2016 thru January 7, 2017 - "Wings & Other Things" A solo exhibit of painting at the "Plains Indian and Pioneer Museum" in Woodward, Oklahoma
Although Sam is no longer making kaleidoscopes, he continues to paint and teach classes and workshops. .
Whether it is a painting of an old building, a sketch of a weather-beaten face, one of his whimsical fantasy drawings or one of his kaleidoscopes, Sam only hopes that people will find enjoyment in his artwork.