We’re interested in publishing your submission, but would love if you could elaborate on some parts of your artist statement. Below are some questions that we’ve generated, for you! Respond to these questions as best you can, even if some of them don’t have any real “answers.”
Thanks so much!
Pulse (P): Could you describe your grandparents’ antique shop?
Jacob Eveland (JE): The name of my grandparent’s antique shop was Grandma’s Attic. The shop meandered through an expansive building which was built in the late 1890s. The Victorian structure towered three stories over the main street made of brick. Its basement had an earthen floor and coal grottos that were filled from trapdoors in the sidewalk above. The 18 rooms boasted envelope doors, windows hung with weighted ropes, elaborate crown molding and decorative tin ceilings 12 feet above the wooden floors. The building was painted in shades of gold, cream, and yellow. Every floor was filled with antiques and intriguing gadgets from the past. In my eyes, they were all works of art.
P: What specific experiences or observations have you had there?
JE: I would draw in the back kitchen table or at the front counter every day after school. My imagination was ignited in this place of wonder. I’d play the 1940s juke box every day full of songs like “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” and slide down the wide walnut railings of the staircases. I believed that it was my own museum to explore and play in. Just the history of the building and everything in it blew my mind. I remember the scratchy smooth sound of the Edison phonograph with a blue horn painted with red roses. The wall of old oil and kerosene lamps always intrigued me. When I was three, I kicked my foot in the air and my flip flop flew off the end of my foot. It cart wheeled through the air until it came to rest atop a beautiful oil lamp. The strap slipped down over the top of the glass chimney. I watched wide-eyed as the delicate lamp tottered back and forth on the shelf wearing my flip flop like a cockeyed hat. My heart was in my throat thinking I had just destroyed something very valuable; however, luck was on my side and the lamp stayed atop the shelf. My mom thought it was one of the best circus stunts she’d ever witnessed. One of the first words my sister and I learned was “delicate”. We didn’t break much over the years, but there were a couple of casualties…
The craftsmanship of the furniture, beautiful glassware, and intriguing gadgets were so fascinating to me. It was a great place to play as a child. My grandparents sold the antique shop when I was 12 in 2002. The shop is gone, but I will always have my memories.
P: Why is it important to make work about your experiences in Illinois?
JE: My life in Illinois has made me who I am, and we are nothing without our past. I tend to hold on to past experiences that can’t be regained or repeated and hold them dear. I am beginning to draw inspiration from my experiences and friendships made since I moved to Richmond in 2008. My life here in Richmond is in its infancy compared to my 19 years spent in Illinois. I’ve spent most of my time in my art studio since I moved here. I really need to get out more.
P: What about your experiences to Richmond, VA? Are they different/similar? How so?
JE: Richmond is a beautiful place. It’s a great new chapter in my life. I moved here because it reminded me of my home town of Lebanon, IL. Its just the city version. The buildings along Franklin St. and throughout the fan district remind me of the Victorian building that housed the antique shop I grew up in. Lebanon, IL is a really small town of 4000. It’s charming and friendly, but a little limiting when it comes to diversity and culture. I came to Richmond for a change and to experience city life. I love it! Both Richmond and Lebanon have a rich history and beautiful natural surroundings which make them very appealing and inspiring to me.
P: What is an antique?
JE: An antique is an item that has a rarity because of its age, typically dated at 100 or more years old. You can have an emotional connection from something you once owned in the past. My favorite antiques are, phonographs, oil lamps, cast iron trains, old radios, skeleton keys and the list goes on…
P: What do you love about animals and nature? Why?
JE: My appreciation for animals and nature was fostered in my childhood home which had an abundance of pets. We also cared for wild animals that we found abandoned or injured from a field mouse that hadn’t even opened its eyes yet to a baby possum. It was nestled in the countryside on 5 acres with a big red barn and stables. We drank water from a well. We had a pond out back that we fished and swam in. At one point it was infested with North American Water Snakes. We were exposed to coyotes, deer, foxes, raccoons, Possum, rabbits, quail, and owls. Every wonderful animal you can find in the Midwestern U.S. I got to see firsthand in the fields, woods and yard surrounding my home. I developed a keen interest in, and respect for them by observing them in my everyday life. We also had an apple and pear orchard, a large vegetable garden, and numerous flower gardens. Of course with all that, we saw many species of birds, butterflies, and bees. I was taught at an early age to respect all nature and appreciate its beauty. Believe me, we weren’t allowed to litter and never wanted to hurt an animal. I did however have a ritual I performed when hundreds of Starlings invaded the yard and garden. I would run out and cause them to spiral back into the sky. When I was three, I ran outside naked with only a fake tomahawk and an Indian headdress on to scare the Starlings from the garden. I think I scared the neighbor girls too. Sometimes I was an odd kid, but I was loving life!
P: What is animal? Nature?
JE: Nature is everything that isn’t man made. A gift we’ve been given to appreciate and sustain life. Animal is natural and instinctual, lacking in pretention or falseness. I find it comforting. Something as simple as petting your dog and knowing he’s there for you is a gift.
P: Are there things that exist that are not nature? How do you know when that is the case?
JE: Anything manmade isn’t natural. I find that incorporating interesting manmade items with natural items seems to be very pleasing to the eye and usually strikes a chord with my customers/viewers. I find that blending the organic with inorganic sometimes puts a new perspective on an everyday item or commonly overlooked aspect of nature, so I like to incorporate both into my art.
P: How does representation of a subject matter equate to appreciation, respect and awe?
JE: The work I do is therapeutic to me. I put my heart and soul into it to break away from the stresses of my life. I take my time allowing a piece to evolve from a combination of my reality and my imagination. My art is a reflection of my appreciation of life and passion for creating pieces that will affect its viewers in a positive way.
P: How does art appreciate its subject?
JE: Art appreciates its subject by a fair and respectful reflection of it. A carefully and thoughtfully rendered piece that transmits the imagination and soul of the artist.