Evan Hagan always knew that he wanted to be an artist. He began drawing at an early age, producing graphic novels and comics in his free time as a kid growing up in Peoria, Illinois. He continued to explore illustrating and drawing, and found a passion for ceramics when he was accepted as an apprentice to The Peoria Art Guild at the age of 15. Though he loved the practice, he became motivated to pursue art as a career by his grandmother who encouraged him to continue a creative practice.
Evan first began teaching art at the age of 19 at a YMCA camp in Kentucky. The combination of being outside, having limited creative tools and resources, and the community based education style all motivated him to continue pursuing other teaching opportunities. He went on to teach for at Camp Hawthorne in Maine which is where he first taught stenciling, an art style that he grew up with. He again fell in love with the community focus of their arts programs, particularly how it shaped his practice. “Great art can’t be made inside of a vacuum,” Evan said, “community based art programs force you to collaborate with the other artists around you, which brings new perspectives and styles into your work.”
Crawl cups by Evan Hagan
This passion for community art programs is a large part of how Evan ended up working as both a Studio Manager and Ceramics Instructor at Manny Cantor Center. When looking for other teaching opportunities in New York, he found a volunteer position in our ceramics studio, which quickly expanded into a teaching role for our teen ceramics courses. This July, Evan began full time as our Studio Manager, serving the whole art school community with both his technical ceramics skills and knowledge of community based art programs.
This fall at Educational Alliance Art School, Evan will be teaching a new teen course in Stenciling and Murals. He has been creating stencils for over 18 years and draws inspiration from street artists like Banksy and Shepard Fairey.
“Ramen,” “We Build Islands,” & “Theory of Mind” by Evan Hagan
Stenciling is the world’s oldest form of printmaking, having existed for around 14,000 years, and this history is part of the reason that Evan is excited to be teaching this new course. “I love that stenciling plays with repetition and visibility,” he said. “All of the time that you spend on a stencil stays there. As long as you have the stencil, the art you create with it can be continually re-created and re-defined which is unique to this medium.”
Evan’s new Teen Stenciling & Murals is being offered on Thursday afternoons from 4-6PM for teens ages 13-18. He will also continue to teach Ceramics for adults on Friday mornings from 10AM-12:30PM. To see some of his work you can visit his website at www.evanhagan.com or read more about his background in teaching here.
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