The Crisfield Arts & Entertainment District Project is excited to present Evelyn Brumwell in our featured artist series. Evelyn was interviewed by phone by Crisfield Arts & Entertainment District Coordinator Jen Merritt.
When asked what her favorite part of the Crisfield Arts & Entertainment (A & E) District is, Evelyn immediately says “Community”. She also said that the A & E District provides opportunities that would not otherwise exist for artists.
Evelyn lives in Crisfield and is active in several Arts & Entertainment District activities, including the art bike rack design contest, sewing reusable masks for free distribution the community, 4th Saturday Bay Strolls, the Have a Seat in Crisfield fundraiser and the newly founded artist co-op at the former Corbin Library at 4 E Main Street (now the Corbin Studio & Gallery).
Evelyn says she feels like she is returning home in her move to Crisfield, which will be two years ago in October. She lived away from Maryland for 28 years and spent that time farming (more on that in a bit). Her parents brought her to Crisfield on vacations as a child, and her grandmother’s family is from Tilghman Island. Evelyn’s counts watermen from that area among her relatives, and says the water was in her blood.
The photos included here show the diversity of Evelyn’s talent – from 3-dimensional design for the art bike rack to sketching, painting, sewing, and fiber arts.
I asked Evelyn how she began creating fiber art. During the years that Evelyn was farming, she and her partner raised alpacas, caring for over 60 animals at times. She says that each animal has their own personality and that alpacas are personable and intelligent. She attributes the occasional grumpy alpaca met at a zoo to the fact that just like us, these animals prefer not to be in a cage and not to be teased. Evelyn also raised bees, chickens, and pigs during her farming years. She owned a store for 15 years and sold yarn and clothes from Peru. She tried out creating fiber art with the felt she made from her alpaca’s wool. She made a hat, then a teddy bear… and she never stopped creating as you can see in these photos.
Evelyn painted a stunning Maryland-themed bench with a crab for the Have a Seat in Crisfield fundraiser. The painting has a classic, vintage appearance. I asked her how the theme for this bench came about. She told me the story of visiting her son, who was going through some of his grandfather’s old things. He found a sheet of “Cinderella” stamps from each Maryland county from 1933. Cinderella stamps are decorative stamps and were popular to use as decorations on the envelopes for personal letters. The Somerset County stamp in this collection was a crab, and Evelyn used this as the centerpiece for her bench panel, resulting in a beautiful piece that already has a $500 bid! Thank you Evelyn, and bench sponsors Robert & Vickie Howell for supporting the Crisfield Arts and Entertainment District Project.
She is also one of three winners for the art bike rack design award, with a bike rack depicting oyster tongs. She attributes this to being from a family of watermen who sailed skipjacks.
You can learn more about the Have a Seat fundraiser, which supports the Crisfield Arts & Entertainment District (CAED) Project, at CrisfieldArts.org or bid online at CharityAuction.bid/HaveaSeatinCrisfield2020. To get involved with the CAED Project, email [email protected].
See more of Evelyn’s work YB Normal Wear at etsy.com/shop/ebrumwell The CAED Project would like to thank Evelyn for generously sharing her gifts with us.
The non-profit Crisfield Arts & Entertainment District (CAED) Project is the State recognized entity for the management of the Crisfield Arts & Entertainment District. Maryland’s Arts & Entertainment (A&E) Districts help develop and promote community involvement, tourism, and revitalization through tax-related incentives that attract artists, arts organizations, and other creative enterprises to towns and cities across the State.