“Relentless Painter” from Lafayette Celebrated in Major Exhibition at AcA
LAFAYETTE, La (press release) – AcA launches a retrospective exhibition of Olin John “Leroy” Evans (b.1951). An artist in the Lafayette community who rarely pursued attention for his works but ceaselessly painted, Evans passed away in Lafayette on September 9, 2021. The exhibition opens on June 11, 2022, during Second Saturday ArtWalk at the Acadiana Center for the Arts.
The exhibition’s title “Painting Rent” is a reference to the artist’s dedication to painting as his sole vocation in life. Evans earned what little income he had by selling his artworks to a close circle of life-long patrons, often just in time for a rent payment. He was rarely exhibited during his lifetime but was celebrated by his many supporters.
Evan’s work centers around the traditional painting genres: still-life, portraiture and landscapes—often with a twist of the macabre and surreal. His artwork demonstrates virtuosic skill in his drafting, painting, and color choice.
Evans’ most striking works are post-modern allegorical paintings, often populated by revelrous characters and symbolic animal motifs. He references Acadiana’s traditional rural Mardi Gras, archetypal battles of good versus evil and characters from popular culture, all together weaving his personal experience into a landscape of universal experience.
The artworks within this exhibition are on loan from a circle of collectors who knew Leroy through his lifetime and many are childhood friends. They’ve allowed AcA to pull together many works not seen before in public, in order to give a thorough view of this artist’s oeuvre and an in-depth look into his creative process.
In celebrating the life and work of Leroy Evans, the Acadiana Center for the Arts aims to raise awareness for the efforts of the Blue Monday Mission, who were caretakers of the artist in his final months. Blue Monday Mission is dedicated to the mission of providing life care services for aging, retired and elder musicians and artists within the Lafayette community.
“Leroy Evans: Painting Rent” is on view in the Acadiana Center for the Arts Main Gallery from June 11, 2022 to August 13, 2022. The AcA is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday and during Second Saturday ArtWalk each month.