The Art of Geoffrey C. Everts

THE  ART  OF
GEOFFREY C. EVERTS
A MEMORIAL TRIBUTE

About the Artist

Geoff Everts- photo by Nancy Panganiban

photo by Nancy Panganiban

Geoffrey Connor Everts
June 27, 1958 – October 13, 2015

From his very beginning, Geoff Everts was immersed in an artistic environment. Born in Harbor City (Los Angeles), California, of accomplished and renowned artist parents, Chizuko Judy Sugita Everts [later remarried, changing her surname to DeQueiroz] (b. 1933), and Connor Everts (1928 - 2016), Geoff showed an artistic proclivity early in life. Chizuko recalls that when Geoff was a child he drew whenever and wherever he could, often clandestinely covering the walls inside his closet, or any other closet he had access to, with his art. Throughout his childhood and adolescence, he would invent jokes and imaginative games to keep his family amused and active. His creativity and wacky sense of humor rarely lay dormant.

Geoff earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1982, having studied at UC Riverside and UC Irvine. Soon after graduating, he enrolled at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), in the Experimental Animation/Film Graphics division of the School of Film & Video. His mentor in that program was Jules Engel, an expert colorist and designer who had worked, among other places, at the legendary UPA animation studio. Geoff earned his Masters of Fine Arts degree in 1984, after completing two animated short films during his CalArts residence. Both films showed influences of science fiction in their imagery, though they were thoroughly original in content.

A few years after graduating from CalArts, Geoff married Janet Evans, a photography aficionado and cook par excellence. They had two daughters, Kristen and Chelsea.

While his roots were firmly planted in fine art, Geoff heartily embraced the realm of popular art as manifested in comic books, graphic novels, posters (with an emphasis on psychedelic posters of the 1960s), and of course, animation. With a keen eye he avidly studied the styles and techniques of a wide variety of artists, blending choice elements into his own evolving, personal style. Two of his greatest influences in comics and graphic novels were Richard Corbin and Jean Giraud, a.k.a. Moebius. Geoff worked as a colorist on a number of Moebius comics (graphic novels), an assignment which proved to be very demanding but ultimately satisfying.

Geoff Everts- photo by Chris Rutkowski

Geoff circa 1991, clowning for the camera
-photo by Chris Rutkowski

Early in his career, Geoff collaborated with schoolmate and friend Tim Kirk on a comic titled Bine, published in black & white with a full-color cover. Chris Rutkowsky, an animation artist from CalArts and one of Geoff's life-long best friends, collaborated with him on three issues of a black & white comic titled Transmission. In subsequent years Geoff produced and self-published a variety of comics in color and black & white, under titles such as Jethro's Euro Rad Zine and Glimpses. He also self-published collections of his finished works and sketchbooks.

Over the course of twenty-odd years (circa 1988 - 2009) Geoff worked at a variety of TV and movie studios as an Animator, Assistant Animator, Colorist, Effects (FX) Animator and FX Key Assistant Animator. His best-known animation projects are those he contibuted his talents to while a member of the FX crew of Walt Disney Feature Animation. To view a video of choice Disney movie scenes in which Geoff's work is featured, refer to his animation demo reel which is posted on this website. A comprehensive list of his cinematic and TV credits can be found at the IMDb (Internet Movie Database) website:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1582198/

After working full days at an animation studio drawing board, Geoff spent many evenings and weekends in his home studio, drawing and painting his own, original works. As for his animation career, Geoff's reliability, easygoing nature, and quality work ensured his continued employment. However, the modus operandi of animation production drastically changed with the advent of "The New Millenium", whereupon thousands of animation artists, Geoff included, faced great difficulty finding suitable work within their field, due to hand-drawn animation having been phased out, replaced by computer-generated (CG) animation. While CG animation still requires human input, the type of employment offered and the relatively scant number of jobs available meant the end of many animation careers. Geoff subsequently found non-art-related employment requiring fewer hours, which suited his appetite for getting back to his own drawing board.

Although his artistic life in Southern California was quite productive, Geoff participated in only a few exhibitions and made little if any inroads within the L.A. Art scene. A number of reasons could be given for that situation, such as the stratified, clique-ish nature of the scene, and the fact that Geoff was so busy creating his art that he had little time to spend on promoting himself. Whatever the reasons, he found himself needing to spread his proverbial wings and breathe fresh air. Moving to Boise, Idaho in 2009 fulfilled those needs.

Geoff Everts at the 2011 Idaho Statesman July 4th Chalk Art Festival, Boise, Idaho- photo by Nancy Panganiban

Geoff at the 2011 July 4th Chalk Art Festival, Boise

The Art scene in Boise could hardly have been more of a contrast to Los Angeles'. Geoff found Boise gallery owners and fellow artists to be, by and large, easily approachable and accepting of various artistic styles. Geoff jumped into the Boise scene with both feet; he joined the Treasure Valley Artists' Alliance (TVAA) and the Boise Open Studios Collective Organization (BOSCO). Within a year or less he was participating in group exhibitions and public art group activities such as the annual July 4th Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival sponsored by The Idaho Statesman newspaper. One notable achievement (though by no means the only) that placed Geoff in the artistic spotlight was his winning First Place for an illustration he presented at the 2014 Boise Comic Con (see gallery 5.)

Geoff's time in Boise was likely the most productive period of his life. For the sake of maintaining a modest income he worked short stints at various mundane jobs, though a fortuitous and timely financial windfall largely freed him from such encumbrances, enabling him to fulfill his passion for drawing and painting almost continuously. When he needed a break from his studio, the beautiful, often majestic scenery throughout Idaho and neighboring states provided ample opportunities to satisfy his love of the outdoors, affording him ecstatic encounters with myriad forms of flora and fauna, along with fascinating rock formations, that inspired many elelments of his art. While his native California has its own abundance of such natural wonders, his newly-adopted region opened new vistas and offered new trails to hike. On his forays into Nature he was usually accompanied by his partner and artist colleague Nancy Panganiban.

Geoff Everts at BOSCO Open Studio Event, Boise, Idaho- photo by Pam McKnight

Geoff sculpting a ceramic bas-relief outside Pam McKnight's studio, during a
Boise Open Studio Weekend event     -photo by Pam McKnight

One of the most significant events to occur later in Geoff's artistic career was his encounter with ceramics. His gateway into that realm manifested in the form of classes led by the accomplished artist Susan Rooke. Fortunately, Sue's studio was situated near Geoff's studio; Geoff spent many happy, productive hours there. He eagerly adopted the medium, quickly exhibiting the adeptness and abilities of a seasoned ceramicist despite having little prior experience. He soon discovered that Bas-Relief provided the most personal satisfaction and proved to be the best technique of capturing the vast plethora of images that swam in the deep, mysterious ocean of his imagination. Geoff's trademark humor occasionally made its way into his bas-reliefs, such as a piece depicting an astronaut encased in a ridiculously oversized suit, wearing fuzzy bunny slippers on his feet (see gallery 5.) Geoff never abandoned his original favorite media, india ink and dyes/paints/colored inks on illustration board, though it seems the pleasurable tactile sensations and (for him) new challenges inherent in creating with ceramic eventually found equal stature in his artistic toolbox. As with his illustrations and paintings, Geoff produced an impressive number of bas-relief sculptures. It goes without saying, but for the sake of emphasizing the enormity of Geoff's creative drive, his artistic activity was never about sheer volume but continuous expression.

Geoff Everts applying glaze to a bas-relief, August 2015.

Geoff applying glaze to a ceramic bas-relief, August, 2015
-photo by Allen Stovall

Something unseen and unforeseen would dim Geoff's brilliant artistic career and bring an untimely end to his physical existence: late in 2014 he was diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer. By the time Geoff realized something was seriously wrong and he had consulted a doctor, the disease had metastasized to other internal organs. Geoff heroically endured a series of conventional treatments, all the while maintaining an optimistic certainty that he would recover and eventually enjoy a normal life again. Despite suffering excruciating pain and discomfort, he continued to create artworks when he could. Tragically, the medical treatments proved ineffectual, and by autumn of 2015 the cancer had ravaged his frame to a point of no return. Although weak and bedridden for the last month or more of his life, he still refused to accede victory to death. Eventually his strength failed completely, and early on the morning of October 13 his sprit departed his body. He had been surrounded by friends and family members who provided moral and physical support during his long ordeal. Two weeks after his passing, his luminous life was remembered and celebrated in a memorial service; those who knew him still mourn his passing and continue to celebrate his life today. He left behind a monumental body of work which will keep those who encounter it intrigued, enchanted, entertained, and amazed for years to come.

Geoff Everts at his drawing board, August 2015

Geoff at work in his studio, August, 2015     -photo by Allen Stovall

view a list of Geoff's Boise art exibitions >

proceed to Gallery 5, Supplemental Artworks >

Follow this link for short biographical sketches of Geoff's parents.

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