Discovering Orange County
Discover Orange County
Robert Evans, 2010
Mural by artist Robert Evans on display in the City Council chamber at the Laguna Hills Civic Center, open for viewing during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
During his 20-year career, Evans has painted more than 50 murals depicting everything from Eocene and Pleistocene habitats to the life of George Washington for aquariums, museums, restaurants, schools, visitor centers, and zoos. For example, Evans designed and executed 10 murals for the “America on the Move” exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Examples of his work portraying history, natural history, and/or ethnographic subjects can be found at the Woodland Park Zoological Gardens, in Seattle, Washington; the Mount Vernon Visitor Center in Mount Vernon, Virginia; the Harvard Museum of Natural History in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and elsewhere throughout the country.
To portray subjects of this kind accurately, Evans says that thorough research is essential but not sufficient. “Well-researched details massed together do not necessarily add up to reality,” he cautions. “The trick,” he explains, “is not to focus so much on the things we think we know that as a consequence, we lose the antic, random, surprising aspects of nature, which might have caught our eye had we been witnesses to the actual event.” Evans believes that these “antic, random aspects” give a sense of immediacy to scenes from long ago.