Amanda Leigh Evans (b. 1989) is an artist, educator, craftsperson and designer raised in Hemet, CA and Nevada City, CA. Working collaborative and craft practice, her projects focuses on systems intervention, quotidian events, shared commons and public space. Evans is a Los Angeles Urban Ranger, a member of the Socially Engaged Craft Collective, and a founding member of a year-long creative placemaking project Play the LA River. She has presented projects and publications at MOCA, the Portland Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Craft, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and the Long Beach Museum of Art. She is also the recipient of awards including Artplace America, the Arlene Schnitzer Visual Art Prize and the Precipice Fund. Evans holds an MFA in Art & Social Practice from Portland State University, a Post-Bac in Ceramics from Cal State Long Beach, and is currently the Creative-in- Residence (2016-2017) at Cherry Blossom Estates, an affordable housing community in East Portland.
I build objects, experiments and experiences that emphasize the value of public commons and collective wisdom. This work is often rooted in relationship and built collectively with other artists, participants and collaborators. I focus on holistic and situationally embedded work that fits, like a hand-thrown mug with hot tea, into the space between art and everyday life. While the work takes many forms, each project is connected by an awareness of the power forces that control public life and the potential of vernacular craft as a radical way to assert our agency against these systems. Objects become important through the relationships formed around them and the values assigned to them. Work with clay becomes a social practice when, working together, we recognize the importance of craft communities throughout history. Ultimately, my work stems from the belief that space to exercise creative impulse is fundamentally a human right. When we emphasize the meaning of our quotidian objects and experiences, we can challenge mainstream cultural systems and work toward a more equitable public commons.