Gainesville Times writes article, features Brenau exhibiting artist, Maggie Evans

This Savannah artist was nearly killed in a cycling accident. Now, she’s having a solo art exhibit at Brenau

Ben Anderson

The Times

Updated: Sep 1, 2023, 6:10 PM

Published: Sep 1, 2023, 1:19 PM

In April last year, Savannah artist Maggie Evans was struck from behind by a speeding pickup truck while bicycling back from Wilmington Island along a marshy stretch of road. She was flung 130 feet from her bike and woke up several days later in a hospital with no memory of what had happened. Her lungs and liver had been lacerated. Both of her wrists had been crushed. Her collarbone, hip and toe were broken.

Several vertebrae in her spine had been fractured or ruptured.

“They weren’t sure if I was going to make it or what sort of condition I would be in if I made it,” she told The Times.

Now, Evans — a professor at Savannah College of Art and Design, a competitive cyclist and a singer and bass player in a jazz band — is back in the saddle, back on the stage and back in the gallery.

She debuted her solo exhibit, Parallel Narratives, Thursday evening at Brenau University’s Leo Castelli Gallery in the John S. Burd Performing Arts Center, which will be on display until Nov. 16.

Savannah Artist Maggie Evans jams for a bit on the bass guitar prior to her exhibition opening Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023, at Brenau University’s John S. Burd Center for the Performing Arts. – photo by Scott Rogers

Like much of her artwork, which straddles the line between contemporary realism and surrealism, Parallel Narratives explores universal aspects of human nature from a detached perspective, focusing in particular on the tension between “individuality versus the need to be part of a group,” she told The Times.

Despite Evans’ focus on human nature, you won’t see any humans in her artwork.

“You’ll see chairs in different arrangements, and it allows us to kind of look at our social interactions from a broader perspective,” she explained. “By keeping it kind of vague, it allows everyone to bring their own experiences to the piece, and kind of like realize that we’re all doing the same things even though they feel very personal to us.”

Evans holds a master’s degree in fine arts and has completed residencies in Georgia, Texas and China. She has displayed her art in 16 solo exhibits, over 50 national shows, and has received a number of awards, including the 2017 Western Bureau Art Prize and the Best in Category (installation/3D) Award at Artfields 2018.

Parallel Narratives will feature oil paintings, drawings and an installation piece made of about 300 tiny chairs painted with a gradation of values.

Brenau Galleries hosts rotating exhibitions featuring works by local, regional, national and international artists, as well as the works by Brenau students, faculty and alumni.

“It’s Evans’ sheer grit and resilient spirit to push forward, to heal and to come back from such incredible odds that is so inspiring,” said Brenau Galleries Director Gena Robbins. “I met Maggie while enrolled in (Savannah College of Art and Design’s) painting MFA program, and admired her drive and impressive talent for not only her drawing and painting mastery, but how brilliant she was at juggling her academic responsibilities with her many other talents, such as playing bass and being a lead singer in a jazz band. She is a true Renaissance woman.”

Maggie Evan’s Parallel Narratives will be on view until Nov. 16th in Leo Castelli Gallery at the Burd Performing Arts Center, Brenau University, Gainesville, Ga.

The Castelli Gallery is open from 10-4 PM M-TH. Tours are also available

Contact Gena Robbins for more information at 770-534-6181 or email