Today we’d like to introduce you to Spencer Evans.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Growing up, making art was always the “thing” I did without trying hard, so to a certain extent, I used to take it for granted. Even in undergrad, I learned and practiced techniques in order to gain stronger hands and eyes; however, I rarely took to the time to cultivate mental and spiritual connections within my practice. I’m not sure if I truly became an “Artist” until I became a high school art teacher and developed a deep concern for the future of American society, specifically, the future of the Black community. I taught at North Forest High School, a predominantly Black high school on the Northeast side of Houston, Texas. My students’ outlook on life inspired me because it was undoubtedly void of self-pity while simultaneously poisoned with the notion of glass ceilings due to the color of their skin. I created a series of paintings that depicted Black youth as deities to communicate to them that there is much more to them than what they had been taught. From that point of my life, I saw all forms of expression as communication. So, using art to communicate with as many people as possible became my obsession/purpose.
Please tell us about your art.
The intent of my work is to contextualize the social issues connected to skin color from my perspective and experiences. My goal is to create an emotional pull within the audience strong enough for them to ask questions that will spark a conversation about the issues and experiences referenced in my work-a conversation that could lead to more people understanding the feelings of an entire demographic as opposed to minimizing or ignoring them. I use paintings, drawings, sculptures, and writing to communicate my perspective.
Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
My advice for artists is to see their love for making their gift-and I wholeheartedly believe that one’s gift will make room for them. Nonetheless, identifying your gift is only half the battle. In order for your gift to become strong enough to make room for you, you need to feed it, have faith in it, and embrace the process instead of chasing a result. Also, as soon as possible, however you can, become a part of an art community and seek mentorship from someone who is in a place in their career that you hope to reach. I wish that I would have learned that what is commonly known as “instability” can be a great vessel for growth without barriers. I often use a lot of energy reminding myself that the unknown is an exciting notion to a person who knows themselves as a powerful person.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My work can be found on my website:
The progress, process, and travels connected to my work can be found on my Instagram page:
@spencerevans_art. I currently have a solo exhibition at Conduit Gallery in the Design District of Dallas, Texas. It will be open until July 14th.
- Website: spencerevansart.com
- Instagram: @spencerevans_art
Images courtesy of Spencer Evans.