Because I was born into a family with an artist for a mother, art was an automatic, integral part of my daily life. Original framed oils and watercolors on every wall throughout my home were among the first sights I took in before I was capable of forming thoughts or words about them. As I grew I gradually became conscious that not all homes were created with art as a foundation as our home was. So in my experience, art extended beyond the canvas and became part of the home my mother created in each place we lived. Deliberate design went into every aspect of home.
As a very small child I remember regularly looking through and committing to memory the works of Mary Cassatt, Andrew Wyeth and others in coffee table books at my reach. While I watched Saturday morning cartoons my mom would be teaching private art classes in her studio upstairs. When I got a little older, I took a more participatory role as a model being required to sit very still for her portrait class students and as a student myself in her children’s classes. Not only did she teach regularly, she brought art to places where there was none. When I was a baby, my mother volunteered hours of her time to coordinate other volunteers and teach art at my brothers’ elementary school. There was no art program at the school and the principal was overtaxed and burdened. Grateful for the care and help my mom brought to the school, the principal was delighted to watch me in my infant seat in her office while my mother taught. When I was old enough to crawl, I was often the model for some of the art classes. The principal even included my mother and me in the school yearbook.
I developed my own drawing ability. I drew pet portraits for friends, excelled in interior design courses in school, and today enjoy the creative aspects of my marketing job including Photoshop, photography and web design.
All these experiences from early in life prepared me to be naturally attune to the visual and I excelled in areas favoring visual thinking and learning. Today, art still takes a similar subtle, yet fundamental role in my life. It is in the background continually running and powering my perception at all times. I see and find art everywhere I look on a subconscious level. On a more conscious and planned level, I am involved in helping my mother with administrative tasks in her gallery. When my own daughter, now 5, was a baby she rode perched on my back in a baby carrier while I helped my mom teach a children’s art class. Now my mother will do art projects with my daughter while I work on my laptop to manage and promote my mother’s business and work online. I intend to fortify an active role in today’s digital age helping her to market her work so that she can focus on her loves of creating and teaching.
My mother, Gwendolyn Evans, holds a Master’s Degree in Fine Art Education from Rhode Island School of Design, one of the top 3 national art institutions, and her work has been in over 80 juried shows. She has been teaching art to students of all ages and aptitudes for over 5 decades. Last year she moved to Bethlehem and opened a new in-home gallery and studio where she has over 400 paintings available for purchase. She also offers: private and group art instruction to beginner through advanced adult students, workshops and art placement in businesses and homes.