“Who am I?” is a question that has served as a launching point for many artists for centuries, and it is bringing Evan Paul English from his apartment in Brooklyn, NY back to Idaho as our February artist-in-residence.
Born and raised in Meridian, Idaho,English’s college career began at Boise State University in 2008, where he spent three semesters studying art. English went on to receive a BFA from the University of Arizona and an MFA from NYC’s Pratt Institute just last year. As English began developing the next phase of his work, he realized a trip to Idaho was vital to the development of his work.
“I make a lot of work about my early-life surroundings,” English explains. “Idaho possesses a certain aesthetic that is not found anywhere else in the world. I try to communicate the humble authenticity of Idaho in its quirky, Americana, objective existence. Through further research on the cities of Boise and Meridian and collecting ready-made objects which resonate with that history (to use as sculptural material), I hope to make a series of mixed media works concerning identity.” The results of that work will be displayed and discussed at an exhibition and art talk entitled “Uprooted” on February 24th at Surel’s Place.
Local artist Erin Cunningham, taught Mr. English back in 2009 at BSU, which was one of her first semesters as a teacher. English still stands out in her mind, and she has been following his career ever since he left. “I’m excited to see what a span of time in his hometown would offer [to English] who makes work rooted in memory, but has always done so from across the country.”
Evan Paul English will be offering a public workshop at Surel’s Place during his residency to guide others in his process of self-exploration and the creation of their own self-portraits using non-traditional materials such as quilt scraps, old photographs, or clothing. The workshop will take place on Saturday, February 11th from 1pm-3pm and attendees are asked to register at http://surelsplace.eventbrite.com.
English will work alongside participants as they create self-portraits either using paint and/or other non-traditional art materials. Participants will look at and discuss examples of historical and contemporary artworks that explore the concept of self, reflection and identity, and English will offer insight into his own practice. Participants are encouraged to bring one or all of the following:
- photo of themselves
- an object of significance
- actual materials to make the self-portrait. e.g. a quilt scrap from a family heirloom, old photographs, clothing, ephemera, etc.
EXHIBITION & ART TALK
Friday, February 24
Doors at 6:30pm | Talk at 7pm
All events at Surel’s Place:
212 E 33rd Street in Garden City’s Surel Mitchell Live-Work-Create District