Patricia “Trish” Evers, age 50, of Wheaton, died in her home June 7, 2000 after a prolonged battle with cancer—a uterine sarcoma. She was a teacher, a prominent award-winning artist, and co-founder of the Awakenings Project.
Trish, who painted for much of her career under her married name, Patricia Cobb, was committed to the visual arts and education throughout her life. She was a 1967 graduate of West Senior High School, Aurora, IL. In 1971 she received a Bachelors Degree in Art Education from Northern Illinois University. After graduating from N.I.U., she taught art in the southwestern suburbs of Chicago. A longtime member of the DuPage Art League, Trish also established and maintained her own art studio through the 1980’s, first on “Gallery Row” in St. Charles, and then at the “Windstone Creative Arts Studio” in Glen Ellyn, which is the space she bequeathed to Awakenings. She explained that she “always felt that the process of art making was more of a calling than a career.”
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In 1997, Evers helped establish Awakenings, an organization of artists with mental illnesses. Her generosity to the Awakenings Project was substantial, as she had much more art and exhibition experience than the rest of us. She helped move the Project along from being a single “Awakenings Art Show” at a NAMI-IL conference to developing it into a community-based cultural and social service organization. Upon learning that her illness was terminal, as a collaborative effort, dozens of friends from different circles, old and new, contributed hand-painted squares to a “Healing Quilt” for her. On May 20, 2000, she won a lifetime achievement award in the arts from Awakenings. She was able to compete within the larger art community, but never felt so accepted and appreciated until working with Awakenings.
Evers was a prolific artist; her work evolved over the years, and is widely known. A retrospective show of Trish’s lifetime of art-making was on exhibit at O’Hare Plaza II Gallery in Rosemont for the final year of her life. That show was the culmination of three decades of creation and showed the evolution of her work.
Trish was a member of the women’s group, “inanna” and a frequent contributor to its newsletter. She was deeply moved and changed by the artists at the Grand Marais Art Colony in Minnesota. She contributed her seminal piece, Eldest Daughter, to the cover of the inaugural edition of The Awakenings Review. Friends and family may contribute in her memory to The Awakenings Project.