Gala Honoree – Lifetime Achievement Award
Fred Eversley was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1941. His father was an aircraft engineering executive for Republic Aviation. Eversley initially followed that path, attending Brooklyn Technical High school and then Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University), where he received a degree in electrical engineering. Postponing an opportunity to pursue medicine and biomedical engineering, Eversley first came to Southern California with the intention of temporarily entering the aerospace industry, and was employed at Wyle Laboratories, as a senior project engineer.
Fred Eversley’s work has been featured in more than 200 exhibitions around the world. His art is in the permanent collection of 35 museums and he has executed 15 large public artwork commissions in San Francisco, Washington, D.C, Miami and elsewhere. He was appointed Artist-in-Residence at the Smithsonian Institute in 1977, and for three years, he had a studio at the National Air and Space Museum. Eversley was nominated to the 2001 International Biennial of Contemporary Art in Florence, Italy, where he was awarded the first place Lorenzo il Magnifico Prize for Sculpture. A major interview with Eversley appears in the current, August 2017 issue of C magazine, published by the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Among upcoming events in April 2018, Howard University will bestow a Lifetime Achievement Award on Eversley in April 2018.
Eversley has lived and worked in Venice Beach, California, since 1963, while maintaining a studio in his native New York City, since 1980. His deep family roots in Virginia make this retrospective exhibition a kind of homecoming. His mother, Beatrice Syphax Eversley, aged 101 this year, is the oldest living member of the historic Syphax family of Arlington, who were slaves at Mount Vernon and then at Arlington House. In 1826, George Washington Parke Custis, the grandson of Martha Washington (and step-grandson of the first president) recognized Maria Carter Syphax as his daughter, by giving her and her children freedom and a seventeen-acre tract of land inside the Arlington plantation. Since that date, the Syphax family has been distinguished for its civic service to education, medicine, and administration in Virginia, Washington DC and New York.