ArtSpace Maynard exhibiting Catherine Evans retrospective | #elderly | #seniors | #execrise
“Objects / Process / Response,” a retrospective of artworks by Massachusetts artist Catherine Evans, is on display through Aug. 7 at ArtSpace’s West Gallery, 63 Summer St., Maynard.
For the past four decades, Evans has been involved in post minimal and process artworks using a range of materials including fabric, plastic, paper, wood and found materials. She credits her creativity from early farm life and being a young single mother trying to survive, when improvising and repurposing were a necessity. Her “artistic brain” led to the kind of alchemy that converted life experiences and observations into art. Her repairing a car muffler with a tomato paste can, curtain rods and muffler tape has everything to do with her future works.
Evans has been sewing since the age of 4. Using these early sewing and fiber skills, she supported herself in costume design and apparel, working for a variety of places such as Trinity Reparatory Theater and various movies produced in Rhode Island. These early skills are still an important part of her life and evident in her work.
In 2000, she obtained her first studio at ArtSpace Maynard.
“I create object art through assemblage of common items. A series often lasts for years, encompassing public art, sculpture, installations as well as repetitive and detailed work. I have always been involved in social justice issues trying to make a difference to make the world a better place. I worked as a community organizer spent years at the ACLU and Common Cause. In Rhode Island I was on the governor’s advisory commission for women. I worked in the court system for abused children the disabled and elderly, and started a group for abused women. I am still active, as a member of the Maynard ADA commission. My art is a pullback reaction to a chaotic world, an effort to make peace and order,” said Evans about her artwork.
“Catherine is no doubt one of New England’s most important feminist sculptors and community participatory public artists that wants to share her art as a form of community celebration and recognition that art is a part of our everyday life,” said ArtSpace’s Executive Director Jerry Beck. “She combines highly unconventional and personal materials to create multiple sculptural forms and shapes. I believe she is grounded in and evolved from the seminal work of Eva Hesse in which she forged the art of grids, structures, clusters, patterns and other forms of minimalism. Like Hesse, Catherine’s artwork has a sense of emotive power, a personality in which she weaves, sews, stitches, glues, screws, tapes her work together in a repetitive and labor-intensive process. Her work become metaphoric patterns of thinking, of dreaming, of working through her love of creation and communication.”
In this show, Evans’ work will be shown in four groupings: early work, work on paper, installation and recent work.
The early works were sculptural use of familiar objects and experimentation with poured paint. She was accepted as a member of the Copley Society of Art through a series using poured paint on bathmats. This was a time of experimenting with process — “What happens if?”
Her work on paper was less about object and more about surface and process. Works shown include beaded coffee stains, stitched and knotted hemp and some collage. Her works on paper have been shown at Danforth Museum of Art, Fitchburg Museum of Art,Ann Street gallery in Newburg New York and as part of numerous group shows.
Evans has created and installed installations though out New England and New York, including Chesterwood, Fuller Craft Museum, Danforth Museum of Art, Art in the Park Worcester and many universities. A 20-foot fiber piece made of braided plastic GIMP represents her installation work in this show. The large fiber GIMP piece started as an exercise teaching a grandchild some simple stitches and turned into an obsession of doing, creating miles and miles of fiber. This piece has continued to grow through the years as it has travelled from show to show, said Evans.
Evans is known for her site-specific installations called “Thistle,” public art used to decoratively adorn trees through the use of fiber. Many have requested these installations to draw attention to the importance of natural areas. Thirty “Thistle” installations have been created sites throughout New England including a Cultural Grant for Carbone Park in Maynard.
Her recent works include large sculpture using whitewashed imperfect wood and old textiles. This sculptural series is a study of material, line, color and emotion. The related series of paintings are created from viewer feedback of their emotional reactions to the sculptural pieces.
For information, visit https://artspacemaynard.com.