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National Gallery of Art acquires local artist Rob Evans work in permanent collection

Evans' art

What: Archive of Rob Evans' work

Where: Historic Hellam Preserve in Hellam Township

When: By appointment only. Contact Evans via his website .

Several months ago, local artist Rob Evans couldn't help but worry about what would happen to his works when the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. closed its doors last year.

But, now the Wrightsville-based artist is celebrating, knowing that his large mixed media work "Threshold" and his lithograph "Late Dinner" have been acquired by the National Gallery of Art in D.C. for its permanent collection.

After the Corcoran Gallery closed in October, the National Gallery of Art got first pick of the artwork in the 17,000-piece Corcoran collection, Evans said. His pieces were among the 6,430 works chosen by the National Gallery in the first round, along with works by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Charles Demuth and other prominent artists.

"I was really thrilled to make the first cut," Evans said.

And to know that his works will become part of a collection that he admired as a child growing up in the suburbs of D.C. made him all the more excited, he said.

"It's kind of a coming home," he said, although watching the Corcoran close wasn't easy.

The Corcoran acquired his mixed media drawing "Threshold" after Evans' first major solo exhibit at the Arlington Art Center in Arlington, Va. That show launched his career, he said.

"It's sort of a bitter sweet thing too because the Corcoran collection was such an important collection of American art with a lot of iconic works in it," Evans said. "I'm sad to see that museum fail, but I'm glad to see so many great works being kept together by the National Gallery."

With this new acquisition, Evans said his works will never be removed, and they will always be protected and preserved. They can eventually be viewed by appointment in a special archive at the National Gallery.

Evans plans to show his work locally at a small exhibit at the Out Door Country Club in York in October.

He is also currently in the process of creating a permanent archive of his work that will be available as a traveling exhibit. The archive will include key works from his past plus works from his own collection. Some of these works are currently available for viewing by appointment at the Historic Hellam Preserve in Hellam Township.

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