Volcano Art Center Featured Artists

Evan Jenkins

“My family has been a major influence on my life as an artist. I have been around the process of artistic creation since I was I kid running around my dad’s glass studio. My father Hugh was a glass artist and teacher before I was born, and my mother a weaver, paper maker and collage artist. For me, the urge to do artwork didn’t come until I was fifteen or sixteen. Growing up around the glass shop really paid off when I found I understood a lot about glass simply from watching others for so long.
“When I went to college, I looked for schools that had good art studios and programs. I didn’t go to a school with a glass program, mainly because I wanted to learn about other media, like ceramics, metals and printmaking. Plus, I knew I would be studying glass at Penland in North Carolina and with my father when I was home on vacations. Sonoma State University was a great place to learn for me because of several really excellent teachers and the amount of responsibility we had as students. Mainly because the number of art majors was so small, we were placed in jobs that kept the studios running. I became a technician in the ceramics department, firing kilns, mixing glazes and recycling clay. I got to see every side of a ceramics studio, including a real perspective of the labor involved. Our glass shop in Honoka‘a is similar in that there is continual behind-the-scene work to be done before and after each piece is made.
“I feel there is so much in the world to learn about the creative mind and how to turn an idea into an actual form. Once I get an idea, I like to try different techniques, and invent my own methods if I have to. The glass can often surprise me by showing new color reactions or optical qualities. The moods I try to create in my work come from the feeling of being in an environment like Hawai‘i Island. I like to use the round shape of a piece to create an imagery that changes as the piece is viewed from different sides. To keep an ongoing evolution in my work is important to me, and I work to make each piece individual in both form and color. Even within one of my themes, like the volcano, the possibilities remain endless and my approach is constantly changing.”