Friday, July 9, 2010

Featured MERGE alumni artist Evan Colbert

Evan Colbert ('03, Art) is this week’s second featured MERGE artist. Though born in Seattle, Wash., in 1970, Colbert spent just a few years there before moving to the Denver area. He attended all three schools on the Auraria campus and lived in various cities on the Front Range, eventually graduating from Metro State with a BFA specializing in printmaking. He currently practices his trade at Shark’s Ink near Lyons, a Fine Art Print Publisher.

Metro State: How would you characterize your art?
Evan Colbert: Post-Pop Pop

MS: Tell me about your latest work and why you are inspired by it.
EC: My piece, "NeoiCons", is inspired my pictograms like one finds on signage. The twelve newly created pictograms featured in my painting are taken from these modern times. They deal with such issues as global warming, carbon footprints, the butterfly effect and even anti-matter. One panel that attempts to address rampant obesity is titled "Pepsi Generation" and features the familiar pictogram person but with an enlarged midriff and a Pepsi logo for a head.

MS: In what ways did your Metro State professors influence your work?
EC: I don't feel like I was influenced visually by many of my professors, but E.C. Cunningham certainly was an influence as far as instilling a strong work ethic and encouraging students to push themselves to the next level.

MS: How has your work evolved since you graduated?
EC: When I graduated I was doing my strongest work in printmaking, especially lithography, and also using the photo labs for photography, but also to incorporate photo elements into my prints. Once I left Metro, I no longer had access to the print or photo equipment, and therefore had to recreate my way of working from the bottom up. I began to concentrate mostly on paintings which sometimes bordered on the sculptural. I only took beginning painting in school, so I developed my own methods of painting through trial and error. Fortunately I have regained access to a lithographic press in recent years, and now my paintings often incorporate methods taken from printing. For example, NeoiCons is spray- paint stenciled onto panels, might as well be screen printed.

MS: Tell me why you submitted the pieces that you did for MERGE.
EC: I submitted the pieces because they were among my favorite and largest scale paintings from recent years.

MS: How do you feel about this opportunity to present your work for Metro State’s new CVA facility?
EC: I think it is very exciting that Metro has this new space, and I can't wait to see it decked out with art.

Each week, from now until August 28, the Office of Alumni Relations will do a short Q&A with one to three artists who are featured in the Center for Visual Art’s MERGE: Metro State Alumni Exhibition.

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