Donut Shops & Roadside Cafes: Paintings by Sam Vance

November 19, 2022 – January 7, 2023

For more than a year, Taproot Theatre has hosted the work of local visual artists through our Kendall Center Exhibition Series. This series began in September 2021 with the work of longtime Taproot performer, Sam Vance. This winter, during the run of The Wickham’s: Christmas at Pemberley, audiences have another chance to experience this multi-faceted artist’s work.

In the current exhibition, Sam presents new work along with a few earlier pieces. His work in 2022 continues to explore his interest in Americana – specifically signs and wayfaring symbols. Restaurants, donut shops, and roadside cafes reminiscent of a bygone era populate these paintings. The spaces he paints can, at first glance, look like places of emptiness, lacking signs of life. But the detail he provides and the palette of bold colors he chooses give his work the vibrancy of 1960s Pop Art. These are places we remember, places we’ve seen on road trips as children, places we crave seeing to break up the monotony of suburban sameness.

Trained at the Art Institute of Seattle, Seattle Pacific University, Gage Academy of Art, and Goddard College, Sam has held artist residencies in the U.S. as well as abroad. His work is included in corporate and private collections. He is the art instructor at Shoreline Christian School.

Sam and his wife, Candace (Associate Professor of Theatre at Seattle Pacific University) have been seen on Taproot’s Jewel Mainstage for many years. They live in Shoreline, Washington and frequently travel with their three children in a family band, A Total Fiasco ( He has recently written and illustrated The Old House & the Old Tree, Stories by Sam Vance, published by Fulton Books and available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

View more works and purchase prints by Sam Vance at

Now, follow the arrow and pop into a cafe where the food is “fine.”

~ Gina Cavallo, Curator, Director of Development, Taproot Theatre

Images: Sam Vance.