Evin Collis was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design in 2010 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting and then returned to Winnipeg and began working as a porter for VIA Rail on the ‘Canadian’ for a number of years. His work has been exhibited across Canada and Italy. Drawing, oil painting, sculpture, comics and stop-motion animation are the mediums he uses to realize his work. Evin currently lives in Chicago where he is pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Red River Pieta, 8′ x 11′, 2013, oil on canvas. Photographed by Charles Venzon.
NQ: Your work is currently showing at La Maison des Artistes here in Winnipeg. Do you feel that there is one piece which sums up your intentions for the exhibition?
EC: I would say that the two largest paintings Red River Pieta (La pieta de la rivière rouge) and Assiniboine Odyssey, which are satirical contemporary Manitoba history paintings that were completed earlier in 2012 and 2013 really stimulated this body of work at La Maison des artistes.
Homestead Pile. 5′ x 5′, 2014, oil on canvas. Photographed by Charles Venzon.
NQ: Which medium do you feel most successfully conveys your artistry?
EC: Most of my time is spent painting and drawing. The sculptures I had created for the show were born out of the paintings. The animations I have done in the past are closely related to painting and drawing as well. As much as I love experimenting and toying with other medias, I am informed through painting and drawing.
Hydra-Goose, 2015, plaster, wood, metal, epoxy, paint, leather, feathers. Photographed by Charles Venzon.
NQ: How do you determine what your next project will be?
EC: Whatever interests me at the moment; often one project can lead into the next. I draw from a wide array of influences and source material. Sometimes I desire to try something very different. There is no exact formula.
Assiniboine Odyssey. 2010, 8′ x 10′, Oil and fur on canvas. Photographed by Charles Venzon.
NQ: How would you describe your home? Studio?
EC: At the moment I spend most of my time in the studio which is inside the school, near the top floor of a very tall building. There is a common area around the corner from my space that has an incredible open view of Lake Michigan, I think you can even see Indiana from up there. The studio is practically home and I have multiple projects consistently on the go.
Commerce, Prudence, Industry Collage. 2015, photographed by Charles Venzon.
NQ: What makes you most excited to wake up and do what you do everyday?
EC: To keep making, to continue learning and striving to become a better painter.