on Wearing many hats
We artists tend to have day jobs, side projects, complimentary research, and collaborations that drive our studio practice just as much as putting a pencil to paper (or in my case, a needle to thread).
Here is an overview of what keeps me engaged and excited during any given month:
molly.e.evans (at) gmail.com
In the studio
My studio practice is a gym for working through the imagined scenarios and recollections that occupy my daily thinking. Whether its creating shifted scenarios for playful exploration of the ‘everyday’, problem solving for society’s ills, or imagining second tries at disappointing conversations for better outcomes, my unoccupied thoughts are a fertile playground for imagined solutions to a variety of reflective, vulnerable and unanswered self-help challenges. Amidst this questioning in my studio practice, my work centers around storytelling. I use familiar and daily textiles forms, quilts, pillows, mattresses, and upholstered furniture to represent the self as well as draw out moments of memory, or fragments of our stories.
My exhibitions tend to fall into two camps. REVEALING: exhibitions intending to lift the veil of mystery surrounding the artists’ process and research, and STIMULATING: exhibitions whose artists intentionally push the boundaries of the media with which they are most closely associated. A selection of my curatorial endeavors includes: Between: Layering Context and Perception in Patchwork in Savannah, Georgia in partnership with the Textile Society of America during their 2016 annual conference, as well as a number of exhibitions at the Union Art Gallery of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, including: Collaborative Design: Great Minds Think Together, Septentrion: Exploring the Arctic Circle, Role Playback: A Second Look at Music Video Production, and Throw: Innovations in Modern Quilt Design.
Arts advocacy Through public speaking & Entrepreneurial research
I have maintained my side research on the connections between art, entrepreneurship, public speaking, and arts advocacy since 2006 through continuing education, MBA coursework, Toastmasters and Moth Storytelling workshops, as well as teaching Public Oral Communication at the University level. My short-term goal has always been to learn how to best advocate for myself as an artist and that goal has now expanded to teaching our community how to do the same.
I am currently teaching 3-to-6 hour strategy workshops for artists looking to overcome anxiety with public speaking, preparing for the five minute pitch, and best practices in style for effective speech delivery. Some feedback from a former student in the Tame the Nightmare! Public Speaking Workshop at the 2017 Annual College Art Association Conference:
“I took so much good information away from your talk and left more confident then ever. You offered up the information in such a clear and concise way and your demeanor was delightful and charming! If you ever offer a workshop on charm, I would gladly get on a plane in order to attend!
Thank you again for your time. I know it doesn't seem like much, but you are changing lives. Thank you.”