Name: Evelyn Contreras

Primary Medium: Print, Fabrication

What inspires/motivates your work?

Some of the things that inspire me are Architecture, Pop Culture, and Cinema. In terms of architecture, I guess you can say I enjoy “ruin porn” my collection of imagery has been my research on abandoned location which I extensively research through the California landscape. I’m interested in the pop culture lexicon created by the urban Chicano subculture in Southern California. Within cinema, I get off researching the lighting trends that are being used in current films.

Why Print & Fabrication?

The reason I lean toward print and fabrication is that it lets me be less precious about the object that I’m making. These processes by their nature lean toward multiplicity, so I can make many matrixes. I can make mistakes without carrying if the object fails.

How long have you been an artist, and how has your practice changed over time?

This is kind of silly to say, but I was making art before I knew the word artist was attached to it. I come from a family of makers, so conceptually I was taught that everything is an art form. My practice has changed a lot I started as a photographer. Then I started working as a graphic designer. Then I was introduced to printmaking in my early 20’s. It was a great time to be introduced to the process since I could mix photography, design and drawing in one place.

What are you making now and why?

I think it’s safe to say I love techniques that involve a lot of processes. I like to make objects and installation that don’t necessarily privilege one process over another. My work is moving more to immersive installation that manipulates the subconscious of wonder.

What does the Austin arts community need most as the city continues to grow?

There should be more art organization and opportunities for disenfranchised communities in Austin.


Evelyn Contreras is a Southern California native. She received a BFA in printmaking at California State University, Long Beach, and her MFA from the University of Texas at Austin. Through printmaking and fabrication techniques, she creates an optical experience that makes the viewer look at space and materials differently, creating a cinematic experience through color, light, and form. She incorporates Chicano cultural lexicons, and references highbrow and lowbrow art movements. Her work has been exhibited throughout Texas, California and Egypt.