Evelyn Kleis, "Like Time without a Window in It," 2015
Evelyn Kleis, "I Set my Wings for Paradise," 2015
The passage of time and the transformations it brings permeate Medicine Hat artist Evelyn Kleis’ passionate new paintings, assemblages and kinetic sculpture. Influenced by Surrealism and pioneer mythologist Joseph Campbell, the paintings are characterized by bold brushwork, with collage and stencilling adding unexpected elements and delicate, gold spray paint filigree. Her wall assemblages are built with re-purposed found and purchased objects, discarded remnants which speak to the past while creating new, dreamlike scenarios. Evelyn comments that “the joy of discovery and play as well as challenge” drives the new work, along with an “expanding awareness of time’s effects in material and spiritual contexts.”
Evelyn Kleis was born and raised in Eatonia, Saskatchewan. Predominantly self-taught, Kleis enjoyed going out on painting excursions in the country with her mother, Margaret Mann Butuk. She has taken numerous workshops with professional artists over her 40 year art career, and studied at the Institute of Art Therapy in Victoria, BC. Her life-long commitment to nurturing creativity and art education has been borne out through many workshops, presentations, art camps and classes for adults and children, and as an artist-in-residence at elementary schools in the Medicine Hat area. She has exhibited her work in both solo and group exhibitions throughout southern Alberta from 1977 to the present; and in the AFA TREX exhibition, From Angels to Icons, shown from 1998 to 2000 around Alberta. Her work is held in several Alberta public collections and many private collections in Canada, the USA and England.