The Garage  
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"The Garage", Bobby Dean Evans, Jr., 2016, Mixed media, 26" x 33" x 1”

The first installation in this series, The Garage, is a recreation of the garage workspace from the childhood home of Bobby Dean Evans, Jr. The garage was a place where he could retreat from the world and work on his creative endeavors. He would work on his car and motorcycle there. His memories of the garage are filled with the sense of hope and infinite possibility that embodied that time in his life. This recreation honors Evans’ story and experiences and brings to life a memory filled with promise.

The image above is Evans’s depiction of the garage from his childhood home. Evans was
unexpectedly transferred to another prison during the collaboration of this project, so the piece
was completed via correspondence. Evans mailed Ho the final parts for the art piece and
instructions on how to finish it. The painting includes materials that Evans had access to in prison
including paper, soil and fennel from prison grounds, silver chain from his necklace, and carved
pencils for the frame.


About Bobby:
Bobby Dean Evans Jr. works in mixed media and origami. Evans’ work was included in an exhibition at the Tides Thoreau Center's China Brotsky Gallery in 2015 and is currently on permanent view at the Tides Thoreau Center. While at San Quentin State Prison, he founded a GED prep program and graduated as valedictorian of his class at Patten University’s Prison University Project. Evans is a contributor to “Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline”, published by the Harvard Editorial Review. He was born in Pontiac, MI and grew up in Winton, CA. Evans is currently serving a sentence of 25 to life at Solano State Prison.

In Bobby's Words:

Creating art has been a liberating experience.  From origami to mixed media art, art challenges my mind, allows me to grow, and fosters my cognitive thinking.  Art pushes me to “figure it out” and rewards me with something beautiful created with my own hands.  It comes from my mind and is my creation.  Working with limited resources forces me to work with what I have and to be resourceful to get what I need.  Creating art in prison has been an escape – through art, I can see myself slowly develop.

I have always known that I am an artist.  I like working with my hands, watching things develop and taking something old and bringing it to life.  Around 2013, I was introduced to art through the San Quentin arts program.  There, with the help of incarcerated artists and volunteer art instructors, I learned to see and appreciate everything as art. 

Art Slant
East Bay Express