le magazine noir: Spencer Evans

Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans) Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans)
Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans) Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans)
Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans) Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans)
Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans) Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans)
Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans) Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans)
Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans) Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans)

Dear Pennies & Pens,

A couple of months ago, my friend & I went to an art show at the Bivins Gallery here in Dallas. While there, we met Visual Artist Spencer Evans as his work was on display during that exhibition. I was immediately impressed by Spencer’s work.

It’s real and intriguing. During the event, we had an interesting discussion about being Black in America and what it’s like to be a young Black creative. I knew then I wanted to feature Spencer and his work so I’m so glad that it’s finally happening.

In the interview below, Spencer talks about his work, what it’s like to be a young Black artist and so much more. It’s truly a read that will make you think. With no further adieu, I present to you le magazine noir: Spencer Evans.

Spencer Evans

Spencer Evans

Where are you from?

Houston, Texas

What school did you go to?

I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from the University of Missouri and I’m currently a 3rd year Master’s in Fine Arts Candidate at the University of Texas at Arlington

How has being black influenced you as an artist?

Being a Black artist who has studied in predominantly white institutions while maintaining a connection with the Black community has allowed me witness perspectives from both sides of the social spectrum and almost everything in between.

I have been forced to become aware of how I am perceived by those outside of my community, identify the ideologies rooted in the contradictions that influence such perceptions, and transform those contradictions by doing extensive research of self.

Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans)

Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans)

Do you depict what it is like to be young and black in your art? Why or why not?

I attempt to depict that, because I am telling my truth with my work. I view expression as the communication of a reflection of one’s reality, so I intend to do depict my reality.

Which you rather be known as…a young artist or a young black artist? Why?

I am honored to be known as a Young Black artist. The American response to Blackness is still an unresolved issue that often results in tense, uncomfortable exchanges. I see these situations as teaching moments, art is the language I use to deliver the lesson in the form of stories and analogies.

Thus, the American response to Blackness provides me with infinite content with which to make work. One of the resources I’ve learned from being Black in America is learning to turn lemons into Lemon Meringue Pie, and I’m proud of that.

Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans)

Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans)

What inspires you to create art?

I am inspired by my affinity for story-telling, specifically stories that are seldom told or heard.

What made you decide to pursue art as a career?

Creating is one of my gifts. When it revealed itself to me, I began chasing after my purpose tenaciously. Now that I have found it, I am exclusively interested in a creative career and I have faith enough in my gift to remain in the creative lane.

Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans)

Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans)

Tell me more about your creative process as far as you create your work? Do you sketch before you paint? And what types of materials (i.e., oil or acrylic paint) do you use?

My process varies. I often sketch things out in my sketch book, meet with the person I have decided to depict in the work, have a discussion with them, have a photo shoot, prepare the materials, pray, turn on the appropriate music, and begin the work. I use charcoal, pastel, Oil, Acrylic, and spray paint, as well as clay and bronze.

Which of your pieces is your favorite and why?

The works where the figures are screaming are my favorite. I have the deepest visceral connection to these works because I spent most of my life holding in my expression. To say that the overdue release of this expression is therapeutic would be an understatement.

Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans)

Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans)

Who would you love to collaborate with? (dead or alive)

I would love to collaborate with Kara Walker.

What advice would you give to emerging artists?

I often tell young artists to devote time to finding their creative purpose, and when they do… run full speed into it. Feed your gift, develop your gift, stay open to learning and taking risks, take care of your gift and it will take care of you.

Don’t let the doubt of those who don’t understand your journey to discourage you-it’s equivalent to someone who eats fast food everyday offering criticism to the chef of a fine dining establishment (they aren’t in your lane).

Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans)

Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans)

Tell me about upcoming projects that you are working on?

In July, I am traveling to Lagos, Nigeria to conduct research on the similarities and differences between Black American Identity and West African Identity as well as the social contexts that form them.

I will be there for 3 weeks, filming discussions and having photo sessions for the body of work that will come from it.

Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans)

Art by Spencer Evans (Image courtesy of Spencer Evans)

To learn more about Spencer Evans and his work visit: www.spencerevansart.com and check out Instagram to keep up with his latest: @SpencerEvans_Art.

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LoudPen
LoudPen is CEO of ISLP and Co-Founder of 8515. Over the past 8 years, LoudPen has gained extensive experience in lifestyle blogging, writing, editing, production, publishing, marketing, public relations, creative direction, styling, brand management, and event planning. Originally from Cincinnati, OH, LoudPen is based in Dallas, Texas.