News From Terre Haute, Indiana


May 17, 2012

Halcyon Gallery showcases art of Evalyn James during May

TERRE HAUTE — Evalyn Gertrude James settled in Terre Haute the first time in 1928. When James was 30, she accepted a job on the faculty of the art department of what is now Indiana State University. The following year she was the acting head of the department. Soon after the Great Depression of 1929 struck America, her association with the college came to an end. She moved to a small home in rural Clay County west of Brazil and began keeping wild birds and animals in her home, including for several years a blind goose, “Frank,” and his spouse, “Matilda.”  

During the coming five decades she was a dedicated and reclusive artist who managed to eke out a living selling nature paintings featuring landscapes and bird pictures to people in the area, the Wabash Valley, and even throughout the United States. For several years she maintained a gallery in Brazil’s Davis Hotel, which was used by travelers making their way across America by U.S. 40 — The National Road. She also went on art expeditions, traveling by bus to the shores of the Gulf Coast or Lake Erie in search of interesting settings for her art.

Around Brazil, James became as well known for her lifestyle as her art or the fact she was noted several times in Who’s Who in the Midwest books. She never owned a car and could often be seen walking back and forth in old clothes from her residences on the outskirts of town with a bag of art supplies or other necessities over her shoulder. Adding to her curiosity, James became stoop-shouldered, and by the time she was approaching 60, she let her hair grow out into a monumentally huge mound, which she wrapped in colorful scarves.

Although James died in 1990, she has resettled in Terre Haute. Throughout May, the Halcyon Gallery is offering a show of more than 35 pieces of her exquisitely distinctive nature art. A majority were in James’ cache of unsold personal favorites. She willed the artworks to one of her last students, Bill Brown, who has since passed away. The paintings have been in storage for more than 20 years. Other artworks displayed at the Halcyon show have been loaned by the Clay County Historical Museum and private collections.

“The Halcyon is proud to bring Evalyn James’ heritage and memory back to the Wabash Valley,” said Halcyon executive director Ray Chen during the gallery’s May 4 reception for the James show.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Raw: Man Fatally Shot During Police Standoff S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security Raw: Royal Couple Tours Uluru in Australia Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects Raw: Tesla Delivers First China Cars New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named Raw: Sinkhole Swallows Part of Fla. Yard Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Raw: MN Lakes Still Frozen Before Fishing Opener Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Hong Kong Residents Help Create Green Roofs
NDN Video
Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Raw: Keflezighi, Jeptoo Win Boston Marathon

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010