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Local Artists Live: SaQuia Evans
October 10, 2020 at 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM
SaQuia Evans is a self-taught artist, designer, and all-around maker who will be featured on the upcoming segment of Local Artists Live this Saturday. Twenty-four years old and originally from Detroit, Michigan, she has lived in Montgomery for the past five years. Growing up, creativity was constantly at the forefront for SaQuia as a “natural form of expression.” She was always making things and experimenting with artistic processes—she loved to “fiddle and figure things out.”
SaQuia considers herself fortunate to have had outlets for creating both at school and at home. She learned sewing from her grandma Emma, who kept supplies around the house. SaQuia recalls a fascination with sewing, and her grandma gave her “free-range” to explore the medium and those materials lying around because SaQuia had proven herself to be responsible enough from a young age. These experiences with art in her youth fueled SaQuia’s interest in dabbling with different media into adulthood. As she grew, she became more aware of the abilities to make art at fulfilling levels: “The realization of people being good enough to hand-create paintings, designs, and clothes, and so much more—it compelled me and challenged me to achieve the same.”
While she intended to develop her artistry further at the College for Creative Studies, SaQuia instead moved with family down to Alabama, but such a big life change could not deter this natural-born creator. She fondly recalls her first experience with the art scene in her new home of Montgomery and how she has grown even more in her own artistry because of it: “It was like something out of a movie. We were at the Kress and the lights were going, people [were] dressed up, and art [was] everywhere. It was really nice and a reality check. It has brought me so much opportunity and support I’m so thankful for.”
Read more below to find out more about SaQuia, her art, and her interests. Be sure to tune in on Saturday, October 10 from 10 to 10:30 AM on the MMFA’s Instagram account when she goes live from her creative space, shares some of her art, and hosts a Q&A with the audience!
Above left: SaQuia Evans, Life’s Creek, 2019, acrylic and ink on canvas, 10in x 10in
This program is part of the series:
Meet the Artist
What is your favorite thing about living in the South?
The thing I like most about living in the South is the weather. I love the summer and there’s plenty of it here!
What excites you most about the growth of Montgomery’s art scene?
What excites me most about the growth of Montgomery’s art scene is the fact that it is growing! I didn’t find it until after a year of living here, but I met people who had found us after two months of living here. That makes me happy.
What is your favorite work of art from the MMFA’s collection, and what specifically about the artwork speaks strongly to you?
I like this light blue and yellow glass sculpture with a man’s head and birds [Relinquishing All Reason by Richard Jolley (featured image)]. I just really like the colors. It’s so intriguing, I’m still trying to figure it out.
What piece of art that you have created is your favorite, and why?
I don’t really have one favorite anything, but my most favored ones would be a chalk pastel painting I did in high school and a giraffe I painted. The pastel was on a giant piece of brown paper, my teacher sent it off for a contest, and that was the last of that! I love the giraffe I painted named Garry. I sold him at the first event I attended; I trust he is in good hands!
Do you have an all-time favorite work of art, and have you seen it in person? If you have, how did you feel in the moment?
I’ve learned to study myself to continue to develop as a creator, so I don’t look into others too deeply. I do admire Winfred Hawkins’ art and art style because it’s very jammed packed with illustrations of his stories, feelings, views, and opinions! It’s already cool and interesting on its own, but once you hear him explain his paintings it becomes mind-blowing and meaningful! Not to mention his range of styles, mediums, and color palettes!
Tell us about your most preferred place to be on Earth. What role, if any, has the energy of that place helped shape you as an artist?
The rooftop or a tree is my getaway. When I was younger I would climb out my windows with my dog, a blanket, guitar, and snacks, and clear my mind. It felt like a place in the sky and cleared any artist’s block. It also motivated my musical interests that fueled a few paintings.
What drives your creativity?
Colors and the feeling of using my hands and mind. Colors give off energy for me and when I see them I just want to arrange them and fill things in with them. I love putting things together and adding layers; I like using my dexterity.
What is your preferred medium?
I prefer to mix mediums. I like adding tailored factors for different textures and images.
Do you listen to any particular music when you create?
Depending on the mood of my painting or creation, sometimes I want to be in my thoughts of focus and really be in my craft zone. Other times I don’t mind some tunes to get me going. When I do, I’ll often time play the same song on repeat until I’m finished.
What advice would you give to beginning artists?
Be persistent, be proud, be self-reflective, and be easy on yourself. You can do and create anything you want, however you want. There is an audience for every stage, keep going until yours finds you.