Evans was born in the central Newfoundland town of Grand Falls in 1961. He holds a diploma in commercial art from the St. John's College of Trades and Technology (1980) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (1986) and a Bachelor of Education from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador (1992).
photo: Bud Gaulton
The predominant theme in Evans's art is his Mi'kmaq heritage, which went unrecognized and acknowledged by his family for nearly three generations. After Evans came to learn more about his Mi'kmaq background, his focus on indigenous issues has become an integral part of his life and artwork. According to Evans, "the truth has a way of getting out and I've come full circle. I've always taken on an intense desire to find out more... that's what I'm exploring in my art. My artwork reflects my concerns with the indigenous part of me that was denied" (Arts Atlantic, Spring 1998).
THE CULTURE OF DENIAL
Red Ochre: Mekwisiqwan
In addition to printmaking and painting, Evans became interested in filmmaking while in his 40s. In 2009, he released the short film Red Ochre: Mekwisiqwan, based on his experiences growing up Mi'kmaq in Newfoundland, while living in a culture of denial.
St. Michael's Printshop
Upon his return to Newfoundland, Evans found work at St. Michael's Printshop in downtown St. John's. He served as a printer in residence and taught introductory classes in lithography, specialized in the print form of stone lithography and has since been printing for many artists including Anne Meredith Barry, Christopher Pratt, Harold Klunder, and Otis Tamasauskas. In 1992, he became a Master Printmaker and earned his "chop" - an embossed seal that signifies his mastery of the craft. That same year, he also received a Bachelor of Education from the Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Evans's artwork is represented in collections across Canada and the world, including The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery's Permanent Collection, the Canadian Native Arts Foundation, the Canada Council Art Bank, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Miawpukek Mi'kamawey Mawi'omi, and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
CLIENTS + COLLABORATIONS
Evans has received many honours for his work. He has won several provincial awards and his art has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. He was an artist in residence at the Sir Wilfred Grenfell Art College of Corner Brook (1996), at the Belfast Print Workshop in Northern Ireland (1997), and at the Malaspina Printmakers Society at Vancouver, British Columbia (2000) and in 2010, he created art for the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
In 1996, the St. John's Native Friendship Centre and the Christina Parker Gallery hired Evans to curate "First", an exhibition of contemporary works by 46 indigenous artists from Newfoundland and Labrador. The exhibition's full-colour publication contained the artists' statements and essays by anthropologists and aboriginal elders, all written in English and in the Indigenous languages of the artists.