Welcome to the ArtWalk Ventura 2016 Artist Spotlight series where we highlight some of the many talented artists participating in this year's event. This is your chance to sit with an artist and learn about their medium, how they find their inspiration and get a quick glimpse of some of their work. It doesn't matter if they are an ArtWalk vet or if this is their first year; a painter, a poet, or a photographer- these brief Q&A's will cover it all!
For Artwalk 2016, our first feature of this series is Celeste M. Evans from Ojai, CA. Her current visual art endeavors involve painting, drawing, mixed-media, sculpture, and photography. She holds a BFA in Art (2011) from California Institute of the Arts, and has exhibited at galleries and unconventional venues in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles counties...
She is also practicing musician, having been professionally trained in percussion. Her musical output utilizes percussion, bass guitar, keyboard instruments, and vocals. She performs on The Post Nothing’s self-titled album as percussionist and multi-instrumentalist, and is currently developing Caduceus, a duet musical project with guitarist Daniel Masiel. Celeste has recently published the book 25 Poems from 26 Years of Life and Death, a compilation of her poetry. She also writes about art theory and her own artistic processes on her blog. She runs www.artistofearth.net, a website featuring the work of artists of Ojai. Celeste lives in Ojai, CA, with her two lop-eared rabbits, Yeti and Sasquatch.
So take a seat and take some time to get to know Celeste M. Evans.
How did you come to be an artist?
From the early age of three I began drawing interpretations of the world I was experiencing: plants, caterpillars, vegetables, sea creatures—things to this day which have retained my fascination and which I continue to depict in my work. Throughout my life creating art (in visual, musical, and literary mediums) has been my favorite activity. Early on I came to the conclusion that I wanted to be an Artist (over other creative considerations, such as fashion or graphic designer), because as an Artist I can manifest my own visions in the form I see fit. There are no implemented constraints or demands—an Artist has free reign to decide how an idea, image, or inspiration will be made real. This requires the utmost level creativity and discipline—no one tells you want to do. The journey on the Artist’s path allows for the highest potential for creative expression. Being an ‘Artist’ is never a finished gig—it is a constant process of growth and renewal. It is a way of life, a way of seeing things which I find fulfilling, and which others appreciate.
In your eyes, what does ArtWalk Ventura bring to the community?
The ArtWalk is a welcoming opportunity for anyone and everyone to see current art and engage with working local artists. It provides a venue for local artists to share and sell their work, and also interact with the public in a free environment. This will undoubtedly encourage the growth of local artists who will contribute their work to the community. It puts Ventura on the map as a place where art is happening—a cultural focal point which brings people together for positive experiences.
What upcoming projects are you most excited about?
I am currently finishing the last painting of an eight-painting series depicting the lifecycle of the Joshua tree. It is the biggest painting of the series, at 8’ by 6’. It’s life-size scale and 3-dimensional aspect imparts the sensation of being in the presence of a real Joshua tree. It will be my largest painting to date. I plan to find an appropriate venue to exhibit the entire series.
How else are you involved in the Ventura/805 community?
I grew up in Ojai and have lived there most (but not all) of my life, and feel it is a fertile environment in which to create art to be shared with others. Starting with the Ojai Art Detour on October 15th and 16th, I am hosting the grand opening of my studio. On those days, people can visit my studio, see my works in progress as well as finished work, and purchase art. I will be having a second open studio December 3rd and 4th. I hope these events will encourage the community’s interest and involvement with art, as I believe art is a crucial and significant part of society and culture.
In addition to specific events, I am regularly showing my work around Ventura County (currently at Community Memorial Hospital and the Government Center). I also help run the website www.artistsofearth.net, which showcases the art of some very creative and productive artists of Ojai which many people might not know about. We hope to have a group show sometime in the near future.
Where do you want your work to take you in the next year? And beyond?
I want to be continuing starting, working on, completing, and sharing what I create. I have an ongoing list of ideas I am excited to make into art—whether they take visual, musical, or literary form. I plan to continue showing my work in new and familiar places, and being open to what happens. I would like to connect with more artists and build a cohesive sense of community in the world of art, and to create more avenues for sharing art with the world.
To preview Celeste M. Evan's ArtWalk Ventura 2016 PODS Gallery, please click here.