Margaret Evangeline is a contemporary painter, sculptor, and installation artist who lives and works in New York City. Born in 1943 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Evangeline’s Cajun grandfather taught her the ways of the family farm from a young age, bringing her along to the cotton gin when the crop came in, and teaching her how to shoot, ride, and fish. As a child Evangeline absorbed these traditions, but even as she immersed herself in the south, a vision was already forming in her of a future as an artist in New York City.
By the time she was twenty, however, Evangeline had married and left Louisiana State University to live in Big Spring, Texas with her new husband, a pilot in training at Webb Air Force Base. The odyssey that followed continues to inform her work today. While the practice of painting remained an active passion for Evangeline, her family was growing quickly and she raised her three children while moving around the US before finally settling in New Orleans. It was there that Evangeline’s nascent artistic career took root. By 1978 she had become the first female recipient of an MFA in Fine Arts from the University of New Orleans.
With her degree complete and a newfound artistic community to support her, Evangeline set out on the path that ultimately led her to New York City and to her career as a renowned contemporary artist. She began exhibiting at Galerie Simonne Stern and teaching at Delgado Community College, where she pioneered the school’s first fine arts program. It was during this time that Evangeline’s interest in using unconventional and aesthetically resistant materials emerged in her painting, a technique that has come to define her formal practice. Evangeline began creating large-scale abstract oil paintings on canvas, layering crystallina, flocking, and other cultural detritus with her oil paints. Working during the Persian Gulf War, Evangeline created a body of paintings that were intended as a response to the political turmoil internationally at hand, and the social issues particular to the environment of New Orleans. These works were the first in a long line of paintings and sculpture that Evangeline created to reflect on the cultural climate of our times.