Phil Evett, professor emeritus of art and noted sculptor, died Aug. 5, 2016. He was 93.
Born in Swanscombe, Kent, England, Evett studied at the Cambridge College of Art. During WWII, he was a member of the Royal Air Force who, after the war, restored bombed churches and carved war memorials at university chapels in Cambridge.
He immigrated to the United States in 1954. Living first in Austin, Evett was commissioned to create a portrait bust of Sam Houston, which was unveiled at the Texas Capitol. He also sculpted a bust of Gov. Allan Shivers and J. Frank Dobie. In 1958, he moved to San Antonio and taught at the San Antonio Art Institute and worked in a studio at La Villita. He began teaching at Trinity University in 1960 and retired as professor emeritus in 1987.
A prolific artist his entire life, he created sculptures and drawings and inspired thousands of students. "In fact, he inspired everyone he met with his gentle nature, quick British wit, a passion for living well, and a keen appreciation of the visual world," said Ansen Seale '83, who considered Evett a lifelong mentor.
Evett had literally hundreds of exhibitions over his lifetime and several of his sculptures are part of the major collections in museums across the Southwest and England. He earned several art awards and prizes including the San Antonio Art League's "Artist of the Year" in 1962.
An artist who created works in stone, clay, plastic, aluminum, and steel, Evett's primary medium for the last several decades had been wood sculpture. Two of his sculptures are part of Trinity University's art collection, including Millennium 2000 an 8-foot tall wood sculpture installed last year in the foyer of the Dicke Art Building. The piece was donated to the University by Trustees Gen. Tom Hill and Jim Dicke in honor of Evett's contributions as an artist. The second piece, a bust of Trinity President James Laurie, stylistically very different from his typical work, was installed and dedicated in the lobby of Laurie Auditorium in 2010.
Evett is survived by his wife, JoAnne. A memorial service is planned for sometime in October at Phil and Joanne's home in Blanco, Texas.