Published on June 23, 2014 by Carol
Evelyn Fredericks grew up at Kykotsmovi, Arizona on the Hopi reservation. She belongs to her mother’s clan, Bamboo (Bacavi). Her father was of the Coyote Clan. Growing up in a large extended family has influenced her craft directly in the form of the images that emerge in stone and clay.
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Tribal mythology, Hopi culture and the direct experiences of Hopi life in a time less influenced by modern times is the reserve upon which Evelyn draws for inspiration. “Our home life revolved around women, their children and all the work women do.” These images in contemporary mediums reveal the underlying commonalities we share as human beings. They also convey in art the beauty and dignity inherent in native culture.
In 1973, Evelyn came to Santa Fe, New Mexico to begin work as a Fine Arts Librarian at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Native American art was about to burst on the national conscience and many of the movement icons were living and working in Santa Fe. One of these was sculptor Doug Hyde, in whose studio she began to learn the basics of stone carving. In 1988, Evelyn began work on her own sculpting exclusively in stone.
Evelyn works in a style known as direct stone carving, where no models are constructed initially, The size, grain, color and shape of a boulder will dictate where to begin. Power tools enable her to carve quickly. In this way, the sculpture maintains emotional freshness and immediacy of thought. Later, after the idea is out, details are added and refined. Stone carving can be physically exhausting but there is a tangible reward to show for this labor. “I believe the ‘Blood Memory’ of my ancestors are released throughout this process. Thus, I am connected to the past and present at the same time.
Evelyn began working in bronze in 1999. Initially, the bronzes were cast from stone images, but recently, some have been cast from plaster or clay models. All are limited editions, not to exceed 50 in an edition. All of Evelyn’s bronze sculptures are mounted on a wood base.