Kevin Jerome Everson

(Mansfield, Ohio, 1965 - )

North America, American

Kevin Everson grew up in a working class African-American family in the declining manufacturing town of Mansfield, Ohio, an upbringing that informs the content and themes of Everson’s photographs and films. He earned a BFA from the University of Akron in 1987 and an MFA from Ohio University in 1990. After teaching at the University of Akron and Oberlin College in Ohio and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Everson became a Professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where he continues to live and work. Everson counts Garry Winogrand and Robert Frank as important early influences for his photography, although Everson distinguished himself from classic practitioners of street photography in his use of a widelux camera to create panoramic images. He has also experimented with painting, sculpture, artist books and site-specific installations.Since the mid-1990s Everson has worked primarily as a filmmaker and has made more than seventy short films and five feature-length films. Primarily concerned with the African American experience, Everson’s approach to film melds fact and fiction by combining archival footage, documentary footage and footage of people re-enacting fictional scenarios based on their own lives. As Everson explains, this method “abstracts everyday actions and statements into theatrical gestures.” Everson’s films have been shown at dozens of festivals, including the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah; the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada and the American Film Institute (AFI) Film Festival in Los Angeles. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1994), the Guggenheim Foundation (1995) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (1999), as well as an American Academy in Rome Prize (2001). Everson’s work has appeared in the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City and is in the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France.

Charlottesville, Virginia

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