Hey Folks

It is June 18th, 2016.


I have an art opening in tonight at the Lucky Mermaid.

Yesterday marked the very last day of classes for my high school students. Three students actually stayed after school on the very last day, for three hours to put the final touches on the second of two murals we made this year. I don’t think I would have done that at their age. Impressive dedication and commitment. I ran both murals as an art course, with students learning a bit about history and intention of murals, then learning about methods before brainstorming content. We try to run it as democratically as possible, with ideas being generated and voted on as we work. Please have a look at what we accomplished this year!

Mural in the our gym / public meeting space:

Winter 2016 completed student mural in the fitness room

Winter 2016 completed student mural in the fitness room

DSCN0042 DSCN0035 DSCN0040

Outdoor mural completed on 06/17/ 2016. The last day of school!!!

IMG_0022 IMG_0023 IMG_0025 IMG_0028 IMG_0027 IMG_0029 IMG_0030




Posted November 2015:

the dudes at the wine center

The Kiwi Connection handbill nwipa 2015 nov

“A Result of Absurd Serendipity”

It was early winter in FoPo, 2013. Kiwi Mike noticed that a house he liked was going up for rent down the street. He secured that house for himself, wife, and children. Next door lived Sam Koss (me), my wife, and my children. The children, the wives, and us fellas took a shine to each other. Both of us like to garden. We both barbeque with a passion, both like beer, both are industrious, and both are hopelessly in love their wives and kids. What else is there, really? But beyond these fortuitous circumstances, it soon became apparent that something peculiarly “serendipitous” was underfoot.

Mike is from New Zealand, a large desert country between Central Africa and Brazil (just kidding). Prior to Mike and family moving in next door, my family had decided to move to New Zealand, and had already announced our imminent departure to our respective employers. My wife, Ericka, had secured employment in the village of Gisborne, located on the NE coast of the North Island. It turns out that Gisborne is Mike’s home town. It took us a few months to figure this out living right next door and seeing each other daily!

The move occurs. My family temporarily takes up residence in a motel room on the rainy wind thrown coast.

My family tenuously reached out to Mike’s Mom, Evelyn Roe, thereby solidifying our first New Zealand friendship. Soon to follow was the development of the our relations with Mike’s twin brother, Chris, and his fiance, Sarah, who live in Tauranga. Being an identical twin, Chris did a fair job of replacing Mike in my life for a year. We also developed a friendship with their older brother Stephen, his wife and their two sons in Auckland. We do Christmas together. We do meals together. They help us begin to understand “Kiwi”. We use them as excuses to travel.

Eventually Mike returned to new Zealand for his twin brother’s wedding. (Or was it to verify whether or not his next door neighbor was truly having tea with his mother on a regular basis?). During this trip Mike spotted the paintings I was making in new Zealand, and the old rusty wheels started turning.

In spring of 2015, Mike contacted me to propose the idea of joining him in a joint art show the following November at NWIPA on Foster Blvd in SE Portland. My American paintings of New Zealand made in Mike’s hometown in New Zealand, Mike’s Kiwi photos of the US made around my hometown in the US.


“A Result of Absurd Serendipity”


Posted November 2015:

After much deliberation, my wife and I came to the consensus that we should  return to our house in FoPo, Portland. We’ve been back since just before the beginning of the school year. We miss much of what we had in New Zealand. When we stacked the pros and cons of both worlds the scale tipped Portland way. Uncertain if we regret this yet… crazy traffic, weird politics, the fast pace of life. New Zealand is such a slow moving, mellow, quiet, courteous, beautiful place…. sometimes that’s enough to drive ya nuts, though.

My next door neighbor and I are about to open an art show at NWIPA on SE Foster Rd this coming weekend (Nov 21st 8:00 PM). I’ll be showing the artwork that I made in New Zealand, and he, a Kiwi himself, will be showing his photography. We’re trying to get a bit playful with it all. The opening should be a good time. The art will hang until around Dec 21st.

Come down for a beer and check out the sights, eh?



Posted January 2015:

I am currently having an art show at the Verve Cafe and Bar on Gladstone Road in Gisborne, New Zealand. The people here have been very kind and responsive to my efforts to show my art. I thank Ray, from the Verve, for his interest in my art and his generosity in both allowing the show on such short notice and for his promotional work. I also thank Kayla Dalrymple from the Gisborne Herald for taking the time to interview me and for writing a thoughtful article in the Herald about my show.

The show includes many of my stencil works from Portland and a few pieces I have made since my arrival here a few months ago. Not having my spray paint collection here with me, my new work is made using other mediums. Using new mediums has forced me to think differently about my approach to creating images, resulting in a very different look to some of these pieces. Perhaps, over time, I will settle into a more recognizable style, but, for now, I am enjoying the freedom to explore outside the limitations stenciling imposed.

I would also like to thank Ryan and the crew from the Gisborne Wine Center for their enthusiastic support.  I posted the promotional poster I made for their Vinyl Appreciation Society on my home page. Making that piece reminded me of my days of making promotional posters and t-shirts for bands back in the early 1990’s.

I would love to continue to do promotional work for events, businesses, bands, beers, wines, DJ’s. I am also interested in collaborating with local artists to make and show art and would be wide open to any opportunities to work with authors to provide illustrations to accompany their work.

Please do not hesitate to contact me through this web page if you are interested in potential collaboration or are interested in a painting or a print.

Thanks, Gisborne. See y’all around town.




Posted August, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to explore the artwork I’ve been making over the last few years.

There is change in the wind.

Firstly, you may have noticed that the purchasing aspect of the web site has been disabled. This is due to my impending move to New Zealand. It just isn’t cost effective to try to mail prints overseas. If you are still interested in purchasing a print or original, please send me an email, I might be able to pull some stateside strings to make that happen.

Secondly, you may have noticed a lull in my showings. This is due to lack of new production related to a carload of neighborhood boys drunkenly speeding through my alley and crashing into / demolishing my garage (ghetto studio). It took many months to reconstruct the garage, and, once it was completed, we had shifted gears to preparing for our move to New Zealand.

Lastly, we are going to New Zealand for quite a while (kind of open ended). My wife, the luxuriously classy Ericka-bo-dericka, has been after a move like this since we met well over a decade ago. She scored a pretty awesome job as an engineer in Gisborne, New Zealand, and ever since I’ve been prepping my home for long term rental, organizing (not a strong suit of mine) decades worth of crap that has built up around me, cleaning out my classroom and securing a leave of absence (thanks boss), and running around in a general state of neurotic spasticity.

This is an unprecedented move for me, and it will lead to many changes. The changes that may interest you, as a viewer of this art work, include a necessary change in my medium. I cannot legally take my spray paint collection to New Zealand. The same products I buy from Art Primo cost over 3 times as much there. I am certain that I will be producing new works, but uncertain what forms they will take at this time.

Wish me luck?

Departure date: August 26th, 2014.

Thanks, again, kind folks, for taking an interest in my art and for reading my drivel. I hope to keep entertaining people with new pictures.

To all of my friends and family in Wisconsin, thank you so much for your generosity and for showing us such a good time. We will miss you dearly and our doors and a bed are open to you at any time.

To our friends in Portland, Oregon, it is very difficult to be leaving you behind. You have become our extended family, and a daily addition to our lives. I love it here mostly because of you all. You will be dearly missed.