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New York artist’s exhibit inspires reflection

February 14, 2008

New York artist’s exhibit inspires reflection

Over the past 30 years, New York City artist Constance Evans admits her work has evolved, changing from large colorful field paintings on canvas to smaller, representational works on paper.

The works of art at either end of my career, thus far, are visually quite different, but the nuances of color, light and texture are very much the same, she writes in her artist’s statement.

Evans drawings, paintings and mixed media pigment prints were on display in the University Gallery in an exhibit titled “In Search of the Desert.” The objects depicted in the display represented her journey in search of poustinia, a Russian word meaning not the geographical connotation, but rather the place of silence and solitude to find the peace within.

Her art has a firm foundation in abstraction. Throughout her career, Evans has always tried to inspire quiet reflection through her work, both for herself and for the viewer.

Much of her inspiration comes from the views and ideas had while traveling in a car. As a child, her father would often take the family on long drives to explore the countryside, from the desert of the American southwest to castles along the Rhine River to the woods of Kentucky.

He always encouraged her to look closely at the details, to take in the whole and gain an understanding of the history.

Along with the southwestern desert and its ever-changing skies, Evans is drawn to the dwellings of those who’ve gone before, such as the Anasazi Indians. The long uninhabited ruins in Mesa Verde and the Puye Cliffs, hold the echoes of a complex civilization.

The graphic quality of intermingling shadows and stones and upward reaching ceremonial ladders intensify the mysteries that emanate from these magnificent ruins, she wrote.

Evans graduated from Memphis State University with a bachelor’s degree in painting and graphic design, and from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a master’s degree in painting and photography.

Currently, she is the national chief executive officer for the non-profit trade association Advertising Photographers of America, which represents 2,200 professional advertising and photographic artists.

For more information, contact the School of Arts and Communication at ext. 7150 or