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Things They Carry

Samantha Rueter & Briahna Wenke

We all have stories. Layers – that have been slathered on us since birth. Circumstances that are written for us without our permission. Our experiences mold our identity, some more prominent than others. At times this is horrifying. Others, liberating.

This physical presence is an extension of our personal growth, or even lack of. Compassion or neglect, confidence or doubt, abuse or love – all of it. A physical manifestation of our occurrences; we stash it away in our bodies and carry on.

These human art forms represent a shift in the story. Ceasing to blame ourselves for the weight we never asked to carry. Recognizing it in one another and standing together in solidarity, to heal.

Samantha Rueter born and raised just north of New York City, I spent most of my childhood running around outdoors with my brother and sister. When I wasn’t exploring, I was drawing. My dad is a very influential figure in my life, and some of my favorite memories consist of hiking, star gazing, and creating with him. Decades later, I completed my bachelors degree with a double major in both the Fine Arts and Education. For me, implementing a passion for the creative process into other’s lives allows the gifts of interaction, interpretation, connection, and most importantly, reflection. After five years of being in the classroom, I (hesitantly) left my teaching career to begin painting full time.

Samantha Rueter’s Website

Briahna Wenke raised on the Connecticut coastline, Briahna Wenke began painting murals for local businesses by age 16, although she’s been filling sketchbooks since her earliest memories. After graduating from the University of Connecticut with a bachelors in history and anthropology, she spent her early twenties painting murals and embarking on international travels to Australia, Europe, Asia, North Africa, and Central America.

Briahna Wenke’s Website

Photographer: Mary Beth Thomas

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