By: Gail Obenreder
Creativity and “making” always came naturally to jeweler Kaitlyn Evans, though it was not until she began looking at colleges that she realized “jewelry and metalsmithing was a discipline that could be studied.” The field initially attracted her because of its intimacy, and she often creates palm-sized pieces that seem to beg for closer study to discern their secrets.
Originally Evans worked almost entirely in this small scale, obscuring glossy, luminescent stones with pierced metal or translucent plastic covers that added a layer of mystery. But lately the Lewes resident has begun to lighten her palette and to create larger, more open pieces that generate emotional and physical weight. All her artistic work is grounded in the sense of exploration and desire for creative problem-solving that led her as a young student to participate in Odyssey of the Mind and youthful forensics competitions, in spite of a natural reluctance.
“Some people look at my work and do not understand it. Others . . . completely and wholeheartedly know what I do and why.” But regardless of the feedback, she always relishes interaction with those who view her work. Her public speaking experience enables her to share her artistic processes and goals in the meet-and-greets and post-exhibition events that are an important part of an artist’s life and work.
Evans grew up in Mansfield, a small town in north-central Pennsylvania near the New York State border, and that has clearly shaped her affinity for working with natural materials. Though she’s an enthusiastic museum-goer and reader – and loves baking as yet another form of problem-solving – Evans is most at home in her studio. “I sit at my bench [where] the focused and mindful making of metalsmithing processes centers and grounds me. These interactions are cathartic . . . and this is what moves my practice forward.”
The Division’s award will enable her to acquire new materials, tools and equipment that allow her to work in the larger formats that she’s begun to explore. Evans looks forward to creating works that she has previously only thought about and to the opportunities that the Fellowship will afford her to expand the audiences for her creations.Fellowship Home