Utah-based artist Anna Evans’s practice as a naturalist informs all aspects of her work as a weaver, in which she uses plants to make dyes and sources local wool.
Anna Evans is an integrative artist who prioritizes sustainably sourced, local, and self-produced materials in her work. Her artistic focus is fiber, silversmithing, gardening, and naturalist outreach. In 2018, she received a Utah Desert Naturalist certification through Utah State University, and she completed the Utah Master Gardener program in 2021. Her studies as a naturalist and a gardener allow her to observe, ethically forage, and grow elements for use in her work.
She learned basic fiber skills at a young age from her grandmother, a high school home-economics teacher, and expanded on that knowledge through personal study in natural dyes, spinning fiber into yarn, and weaving to create a body of work. Anna’s weavings are examples of place-based art; her designs are inspired by landscapes and other aspects of the natural world on the Colorado Plateau. She sources local heritage-breed wool and uses plants grown in her dye garden or foraged in the surrounding desert to achieve a spectrum of naturally dyed fiber for use in her work.
“I create beautiful things in meaningful ways by minimizing unsustainable materials, pursuing scientific understanding of the world as a naturalist, and sharing knowledge with others.
“The work I create with fiber and pigment represents what I see and experience as I walk through open spaces: landscapes and foliage that are fixed and consistent, the creatures and weather patterns that are constantly passing through. Watching shadows cast by the piñon and juniper and colors shifting on the ancient cliffs around me creates an endless color study and geometry lesson. When a weaving is completed, every inch of fiber has passed through my fingers at least a dozen times, and part of me is twisted into every strand of wool. I work this way so I know exactly what the material inputs are and what environmental impacts my work creates.”