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Art for Art's Sake was first written by French poet Théophile Gautier who was born in 1811. He wrote something like this: If we permit ourselves to look into our souls, we should immediately discover that under the sun, there neither exists nor can exist any work more thoroughly dignified, more supremely noble than this piece of art before you. My art is nothing more and nothing less than art for art's sake of doing.

To create a work of art for no other reason than to create art is the noblest way art can be made. When you make art for art's sake and no one but yourself, you can't care less if anyone ever sees it. You made it because you had to and in my opinion, creating cultural or political art is boring art. One cannot divorce themselves from their external influences, but one can do what comes from the heart and go in the direction one's heart dictates.

Meet Jeff Evans. Antiques dealer and artist. He doesn't waste his time on social media begging people to comment on his art. He doesn't spend his evenings at art clubs. He doesn't spend his weekends in art galleries. He's too busy making Art for ART'S sake—for himself.

My name is Jeff Evans. I make art.

I moved into the 573 area about 20 years ago. I love the 573.

My name is Jeff Evans. I am 51. I am married to Colleen, have two stepdaughters, Morgan and Maci, and a daughter named Reagan. I started drawing and painting when I was young and started actively making art about eight years ago. I find things most people throw away and recycle them into what some call art. I call it an enjoyable afternoon in the shop.

I moved into the 573 area about 20 years ago. I was born in Kirkwood, grew up in Arnold, moved to Barnhart, and graduated from Herculaneum. From birth until I became an adult, I would go to my grandparents' house every summer for a week or two and spend it either roaming the deep woods. Ellis and Ardell Evans are their names and grandpa instilled a desire to tinker. The first sentence I ever spoke was, "Papa'll fix it."

Besides knowing how to repair anything and everything, he wasted many hours failing to teach me how to play the fiddle. Still, he eventually got me interested in an old reel-to-reel recorder that he used for recording artists who could actually play the fiddle. But that reel-to-reel player caused my life to go in all sorts of crazy directions. I still have my 1st recording on it, and I was pretending to be a talk show host at the age of 7.

A piston from a semi truck.

Fast forward 13 years later, and I'm sitting behind a microphone at one of these little radio stations out in Union. Grandpa would drive to the top of the hill and park his car in the only spot where he could pick up those stations so he could listen to me stammer through the morning news as the Assistant News Director for KLPW 101.7 FM and KFMO 1220 AM.

When I wasn't on the radio, I played cowboy and rode every horse I could put a saddle on. After several false starts and stops, I finally built a horse ranch in Bonne Terre with a lot of help from my mom, Brenda, and stepfather, Ron Rundel. I worked for several other radio stations throughout the years, and when I got down here, I made a beeline for the local stations and ended up back on the radio as a talk show host and program director. If you're going to be in radio, a huge asset is knowing how to fix things because most were held together with baling wire and gum.

I get the pistons from engine repair shops and scrap yards. The smallest of the two is the first I carved, and the larger one is the last one I have finished.

...a wide range of glue, thinners, ratios of water, paint,...

My family and I enjoy painting regularly. The technical name for this type of artwork is "fluid art, " but the techniques you can use to create something similar are numerous. They include a wide range of glue, thinners, ratios of water, paint, and a product called Floetral, which allows you to extend the amount of time the paint is flexible and flowing. YouTube has a huge amount of resources.

The light was made from a tabletop mail organizer from the 1950s. I used some random parts and painted it. Now it's Steampunk.

Dragon egg lamp.
Piston art by Jeff.

Now that is an artist signature.

Now, GET OUT THERE and make some Art for Art's Sake. Don't worry about what Snotty Sally on Facebook will think. Create something for yourself. Make it because your heart tells you to. Paint, draw, smash, paste, hammer, cut, mold, something before the world comes to claim your dust. It will happen.

And don't forget to send us a photo of your art. Curious minds want to see what you are up to.

words & pics Supreme Leader

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