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Art & Life with Eva Rabin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eva Rabin.

Eva, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
As a child, I would have said I wanted to be an artist. As a teenager, I would have said archaeologist. As an adult, I would repeat an artist. Growing up, it was tough for me to express myself. The act of making allowed me to express what I couldn’t say, but I didn’t realize this until college. I entered college, planning to be a Classics major. To balance out my academic load, I took an art class because, at that time, I thought art classes were easy. I fell in love with the way artists think differently than academics. Within my first semester, I declared myself a Studio Art minor and took as many art classes as I could.

My first year of college was tough and I fully invested myself in my art. I remember sitting on the wooden floor in my room, drowning out all the negativity of my life while I sat and painted. The world that I knew transformed and disappeared, much like when Lucy entered Narnia for the first time. I still have that mediocre painting on my wall to remember how art saved me.

After graduating from my beloved Smith College, postponing adulthood as much as I could, I undertook an art degree in England where focused on metalwork and jewelry. I loved creating functional and wearable pieces of art. Holding a torch in your hand and forcing (at times) metal to do what you please is a powerful feeling. The British accent also didn’t hurt. As much as I loved being a maker, I realized that the life of an artist wasn’t one that I wanted. I graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University and begrudgingly moved back home to LA.

After two years of not making, I interned for a jewelry designer and my love for making was sparked again. I couldn’t deny that within me was an artist. I left everything behind to jump into the unknown, my MFA. It was two years of a perpetual existential crisis, but it was during those years that I fell in love with embroidery and textiles. Working with textiles links me to centuries of women whose work was a fundamental part of the existence of humanity. Textiles provided warmth and economic advantages. Humankind would not have survived without textiles and the invaluable work women offered. In the end, I couldn’t deny what Child Eva wanted to be—an artist.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I received my MFA from the Applied Craft & Design program offered jointly by OCAC (RIP) and PNCA. Subconsciously, or maybe not at all, I went to Portland to connect to my paternal roots. My family has continually lived there for over 100 years, originally Jews from Romania. Walking around town, I felt like I was walking in their footsteps and I felt compelled to dive into ancestral research. In the end, my entire thesis was about forming deeper connections to my ancestral past through obsessive, meticulous labor and repetitive gestures. Through the use of thread, I built a family tree not about facts and knowledge, but intimacy and understanding. Five generations of my family were represented both physically and spiritually during the opening night of the show.

Leaving Portland was extremely hard for me. I felt surrounded by the spirits of my ancestors and happy in a beautiful city. Again, I begrudgingly moved back to LA. Through thread, I began to find happiness in a modern, chaotic city.

I make what brings me happiness and joy, but it’s usually through textiles. It can be an embroidery about a favorite childhood TV show or embroidery with hundreds of French Knots or ice dyeing dog bandanas or clothing. Sometimes, being immersed in a time-consuming embroidery brings me joy; other times, it’s the experimental and quick process of sprinkling powdered dye onto fabric and watching magic happen. At the end of the day, what I gravitate towards is how textiles let me escape to my happy place, much like art did for me in college.

What would you recommend to an artist new to the city, or to art, in terms of meeting and connecting with other artists and creatives?
Being an artist IS lonely. I greatly miss being surrounded by other artists and bouncing ideas off each other, supporting each other. In a search to find like-minded people and grow my artist community, I searched online for art guilds, organizations and schools. I came across Craft cation, a small business and makers convention. It’s like a week-long art summer camp for adults. This will be my third year in attendance. I also came across Textile Arts LA, which cultivates and promotes textile art and design. I just came aboard as their Social Media Manager. Nothing falls at your feet—you have to find it!

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I began to document my work while in grad school. Archiving my work through my IG page (@Avenue724) is a wonderful way to catalog experiments, my thinking process and the finished work. I enjoy sharing everything about my studio life, seeing how far I’ve come and being inspired by old projects. I also have a website, www.EvaRabin.com, that has a more edited portfolio.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Mario Gallucci

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