One of Canada’s cultural icons, Evergon maintains a formidable force as an artist, a teacher and an activist. Throughout his prestigious career, he has been recognized for his leading experimentation in the field of photography. In 1987, he was the recipient of the Canada Council’s Victor-Martyn-Lynch-Staunton Award for his work with large format photography and in 1990 he received the Petro-Canada’s Art and Technology Award for his work in holography.
A significant forerunner in North American contemporary art/gay communities, Evergon’s subject matter has been the source of major exhibitions since the mid-1970’s. In 1988, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography organized a major retrospective of his work, Evergon 1971-1987, which exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada and toured nationally and internationally. Through the 1996 five-month residency at the Bradford Photography Fellowship, Evergon exhibited a major solo retrospective at the UK-based National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, which was accompanied by the Evergon 1987-1997 catalogue. His work is included in public collections, including the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Canada Council Art Bank, the Edmonton Art Gallery, the Agnes Etherington Art Gallery, Kingston, Musée d’art contemporain de Montreal, the Art Institute of Chicago, the International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester, NY, the Polaroid International Collection, Frankfurt, Germany, Musee de l’Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland, National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, Bradford, England. He is represented in Canada by Edward Day Gallery, Toronto, Galerie Trois Points, Montreal and Galerie St. Laurent & Hill, Ottawa.
His dedication to and influence on generations of students is exhibited by his eminent teaching record that includes the University of Ottawa, Emily Carr School of Art, Vancouver, BC, Brock University, St. Catherines, Ontario College of Art, Toronto, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, the Bradford and llkley Community College and the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, Bradford, England. He retired in 2015 after being Associate Professor of Photography at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec since 1999.
Throughout his career, Evergon has consistently challenged preconceived notions of “the norm”. Louis Cummings and Alain Laframboise, in their text for Ramboys, A Bookless Novel, emphasize the real need for queer-based artists to maintain a history, to “develop bodies of knowledge on the question of homosexuality in history, literature and the arts in order to provide this minority with its own culture…to make people aware of the extent to which homosexuals have contributed to the development of the dominant culture”. They conclude that through his work, this artist “creates a moving desire for the male body, and as well, becomes a crucial voice for queer definitions, insights in a fear-based world”. Evergon continues to provide culture with his challenging political diversity, his celebration of life, humanity and sexual discourse that feeds the queer community and “dominant culture” with crucial records of a much unrecorded history.