RVA artist Jacob Eveland to cover walls with his unique fine art-style murals in Richmond Mural Project 2016

by | Apr 26, 2016 | ART

While the Richmond Mural Project is known for bringing world-renown muralists to our fair city, there’s a certain special feeling of pride when one of our own makes the cut.


While the Richmond Mural Project is known for bringing world-renown muralists to our fair city, there’s a certain special feeling of pride when one of our own makes the cut.

For the 2016 event, Jacob Eveland, 27, is set to be our hometown hero repping RVA, and it’s pretty easy to see why.

Eveland, an Illinois native, came to Richmond shortly after high school and ended up entering VCU’s comm arts program. But his history with mural work started long before that. He’d been an artist throughout teen years, even taking a ‘murals class’ which helped him get comfortable with large format work.

It was around that point he worked with inks for the first time and his entire outlook on art changed. What were once colorful pieces turned into stark, high contrast black and whites with equally strong textures.

Eveland considers his work deeply personal, with it often referencing stories from his past through the lens of a fantasy cast of reoccurring characters.

On such character is an elk with light bulbs hanging from his “chandelier-like” antlers. The bulbs have English Sparrows in them – “how fucking hipster, right?” Eveland joked, explaining the concept. The sparrows often have notes attached to them, and those notes are actually ideas, dreams, or advice that then fly out and provide words of wisdom to those in need.

“That represents all my friend’s parents helping me from falling into a deep hole, getting involved in things like drugs, like my dad,” he said.

Eveland’s father has had a huge impact on his life, in both a good and bad way. He remembered the first time his father went to jail for drug smuggling. Eveland was was 5-years-old, and this wouldn’t be the last time Eveland Senior would end up behind bars.

He compared those years to the TV show Breaking Bad, with new shitty scenarios popping up involving his father all the time. While the two have since reconnected, and often work together restoring classic cars, Eveland’s move to RVA was partly due to him trying to get away from his father’s lifestyle.

While the narrative behind his work often comes from his life growing up, he said the imagery in his work comes from his youth as well. The frequently-used animals came from growing up on four acres of land which was always filled with animals, sometimes as many as 20 at a time.

All the while his grandparents had a three story antique shop. That random collection of old Americana goods play into his current work, with things like vintage smoking pipes and the like showing up to help advance or build the story.

“I like blending the two to build a story of my past,” he said about the striking end result of his work.

Getting involved in RMP had been a long-time goal for the local muralist. Eveland said he’d spent a bunch of his time milling around RMP events in years past, looking for the event’s organizer, Shane Pomajambo, and trying to get his work to him.

“[Eveland] has a very interesting style in that he mixes story telling into his artwork,” said Pomajambo about why he picked Eveland to participate in RMP this year. “It’s all very rich in meaning; and he’s got an interesting black and white style – it makes for a very unique muralist style.

Pomajambo remembered meeting Eveland at a RMP event about two years ago. The artist handed him his card and it stood out because one of Eveland’s pieces was printed on the card itself.

“To actually have some of his artwork on the card was really helpful,” he said. “It immediately translated his style, it piqued my interest.”

Pomajambo said he admired Eveland’s ability to make murals look more like fine art which is a challenge when dealing with aerosol or border latex brush strokes.

“It looks more like an illustration which is unique,” he said.

Eveland ended up working with Pomajambo a number of times up to today. He sent in a number of works as part of a Star Wars-related art show held at Art Whino, Pomajambo’s art gallery in DC, last year. He did about 10 pieces for the show, with only a few weeks notice.

“It was all my style with my textures,” he said, noting almost all of the pieces sold. “I figured I’d never get the chance [to do Star Wars art] again… it was my childhood, I had to do it.”

While Star Wars-art is exciting enough, Eveland was even more thrilled when asked about being part of RMP 2016. He called the invite a “fucking honor,” and noted how positively the project impacts RVA.

“It’s good for our city… our city needs more murals,” he said. “It’s helped RVA a shit ton. It built our street art portfolio in such a great way.”

While details around his RMP work, and where he will paint, are still being hashed out, we’re all excited to see Eveland enter the RMP family.

Keep an eye out for him when the 2016 event starts this July.

There’s a mess of international artists taking part in this year’s RMP – check out the artist announcement posts #1 here and #2 here.

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner




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