Samantha Zaruba’s Persistent Ache of Baby Teeth


Take a 4-dimensional dive into your identity at Persistent Ache of Baby Teeth at COOP Gallery April 28-30. Samantha Zaruba’s (Nashville Scene’s Best of Nashville, Paint Your Noodz) interactive exhibition features paintings, reflection stations and workshops inviting viewers to engage with these complex themes in a visceral and personal way. This Tennessee Re-pair Triennial show, will be open for public viewing on Saturday, April 29 from 6-9pm.

Prompt-driven reflection stations, workshops, or other interactive parts of the installation, may encourage participants to begin shedding their current identities and consciously create new, perhaps more authentic ones. 

Sliding-scale workshops accompany the work throughout the weekend, pulling viewers deeper into the art. On Friday, Zaruba will lead a special edition of her Paint Your Noodz class for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence to provide an accessible opportunity to reclaim their bodies. Saturday afternoon, Zaruba will take participants through a mirror and emotion workshop that will leave them with a deeper understanding of themselves and an increased power over their emotional state.

“In the rigorous examination of the age-old question “Who am I?” I believe we will begin to repair our relationships to ourselves and by extension, with each other.”


Samantha Zaruba is a mixed media artist and art empowerment teacher interested in how self-constructed narratives and media consumption impact human beings on a cellular and collective level. Zaruba’s latest series examines our relationship to our bodies in the modern era and is a revival of work she started while studying Art at UMass Amherst. Her work has been featured in print (Out Voices Nashville, Winner of Best Visual Artist in Nashville Scene’s Best of Nashville), galleries (Turnip Green Creative Reuse Artist in Residence) and album covers (Ron Gallo, Naked Giants).

Zaruba is the creator of Paint Your Noodz, a personalized and empowering paint & sip art experience. In her role as a business owner and visual artist, she utilizes her platform and passion for community organizing to raise funds for causes that align with her commitments. In 2022, Zaruba raised over $1200 through art donation and benefit classes with funds benefiting Nashville Launch Pad, ARC SouthEast and Abortion Care Tennessee.