By Christine Hamelin
with photography by Kristen Ritchie
Artist Rhonda Evans’s website begins with an apt quotation from Picasso: “Art is chaos taking shape.” After many rather chaotic years where Rhonda was a Jill-of-all-trades with her finger in every pie, she is finally focusing on being a creative spirit, a maker and an art teacher. A warm woman with a tinge of a Newfoundland brogue, she has many colourful stories to tell about her life so far.
An only child, Rhonda was born in St. John’s to Keith and Louise Evans, who had met and fallen in love on Christmas Day when they were teenagers. “My mom will tell you that she knew he was the one as soon as she met him,” says Rhonda. Keith and Louise bought a Mary Brown’s franchise in a little town two hours from St. John’s. “They worked so hard,” Rhonda recalls. Every summer, she’d spend a few weeks with her father’s parents in Montreal.
Rhonda, who spent lunch hours at the restaurant, describes herself as “a great kid” who got good marks. Her maternal grandfather, raised in an outport community, had become a chartered accountant, but he was also a painter; in his basement studio, he made wonderful artworks that incorporated seaweed and other found materials. . . .