Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
On June 27, 2023, Anne Mimi Sammis died in Narragansett, RI after a two month battle with cancer. She was 82 years old.
Mimi was born on July 9, 1940 in Pittsburgh, PA and grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut. For four decades Mimi made her home in Narragansett, Rhode Island where her mother’s family had roots. She graduated from Westover School in Middlebury, CT in 1959 and studied art at Yale University and in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Mimi received an honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Rhode Island in 2018.
A deeply spiritual person, Mimi explored various forms of spirituality including A Course In Miracles and The I AM Discourses. She envisioned art as a vehicle for bringing peace into the world and many people will remember her as offering a “Tsunami of Love” and three “Whooshes” at public gatherings, to people she cherished and also to those she just met.
Mimi’s joyful bronze sculptures often depict dancing figures, as well as children and families. Her acrylic and watercolor landscapes demonstrate her love of nature. The sea was perhaps her favorite subject, and Mimi could be found swimming at Narragansett Beach well into the fall, no matter the temperature of the water. One of Mimi’s greatest joys was spending time with her grandchildren.
Mimi believed deeply in conservation and preserving nature’s beauty. She was instrumental in preserving the majority of the property on Whale Rock Point through the Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Exhibition and Career Highlights
Among her early accomplishments were an exhibition at the Wally Findlay Gallery in New York City in 1983. She went on to exhibit her work internationally.
One Thousand Years of Peace exhibition of 30 bronze sculptures was first shown at the United Nations in 1999, and later at The Hague, Netherlands.
In the words of Dr. Robert Muller, Chancellor of the United Nations' University of Peace: "Mimi Sammis' work celebrates the miracle of life and the great age-old concepts of love, peace, forgiveness, hope and vision which helps humanity on its mysterious journey in the universe.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury commissioned the sculpture, He Has the Whole World in His Hands to honor Queen Elizabeth II for Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee. The sculpture is on permanent exhibition at Lambeth Palace, London, home of the Anglican Church.
Some of her iconic public sculptures can be found at RI Veterans Memorial Cemetery (The Women Veterans Memorial) in RI, Narragansett Beach (Dance of Peace) (Dancing on the Waves), The Aspen Chapel (Dove of Peace), Unity Center in Missouri (St. Francis), Greenwich Academy (Dance for Joy) , Christ Church in Greenwich (St Francis)), The Westover School also in CT (three sculptures: Inspiring Women, Changing theWorld; Embrace of Life; Ascension) and the Providence Children’s Museum (Ring Around the Rosey).
Mimi was a proponent of forgiveness. After a sculpture of hers was stolen from Four Corners Art Center in Tiverton, RI in 2010, Mimi created a new sculpture, titled (Rebirth Woman of Peace) for the arts center in 2011. Having read that the sculpture was stolen for drug money, Mimi prayed throughout the year for the thieves and their wellbeing. On the morning of the dedication, one of the art thieves came early to meet Mimi, told her he had become sober and asked for her forgiveness, which she immediately offered.
PBS Series: Inspired to share her passion for, and knowledge of painting Mimi Sammis began working with PBS in 2005 and created a series Painting with Mimi. A second series Love to Paint with Mimi premiered in 2009 and continues to air on PBS stations nationwide. Mimi’s enthusiasm for art and her informal, wise and witty style earned her the title, the "Julia Child of Painting.”
Mimi served on the National Committee for the Performing Arts. Mimi inspired and supported people in all forms of creativity. For almost two decades Mimi held weekly artist gatherings at her home where painters, sculptors, writers, composers, poets and dancers met to share and be supported in their work. She also volunteered in various RI schools teaching arts workshops and nurtured her grandchildren’s creativity, giving impromptu painting lessons to them and their friends.
Mimi Sammis’ work can be viewed in houses of worship, museums, public spaces, private collections, Jessica Hagen Fine Art in Newport, RI; The Sorokin Gallery in Greenwich, CT and on her website at https://www.mimisammis.com/
Mimi is survived by her children Anne Patterson (Bob Potter) and Tom Patterson (Lisa Tener); her grandchildren Nell Potter, Jackson Potter, Mia Potter, Will Patterson and Luke Patterson; and her brother Jesse “Sam” Sammis. She was preceded in death by her mother Anne “Nancy” Sammis, her father Jesse Sammis, Jr., and her brother, Peter Sammis.
A memorial service for Mimi is scheduled for July 13 at 2:00 at her home at 64 Thule Cove Rd. Narragansett.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to Alcoholics Anonymous, The Nature Conservancy and the Courthouse Center for the Arts.
More photos: https://www.mimisammis.com/