Florist focuses on beauty in a world he can no longer see

Black Hills Backstory: Wallace “Wally” Evans
Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 8:38 AM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) -Florists and Artists see the beauty in a world often overlooked by the regular passerby. But what happens when a disease steals sight?

Wallace “Wally” Evans owned Flowers by Leroy. A horticulture major he learned the trade in Sioux Falls and eventually made his way to the Black Hills. 51 years later his view on life is still crystal clear while in reality, it’s a little more blurry than Wally would like. In 2001 he was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration, an eye disease that causes vision loss.

Evans says “It’s hard to explain. You can’t see people’s faces but you have your peripheral vision. You’re never blind because you can see and turn your head. It’s challenging to do something like this.”

Challenging but not impossible. After Evan’s diagnoses, he put down the gardening shears and decided to pick up the paintbrush. The passion came naturally but the technique took some time.

Evans says "I’ve always appreciated art a great deal. Monet, Van Gough, I’ve just always loved it. And wished I could do it.

So he did, and it turns out that regardless of his sight he could see the picture he was painting. His style is unto himself yet it bears a stark resemblance to the American painter, Andrew Wyeth.

When it comes to his paintings Evans describes it as "freedom. Not extremely detailed. A little forgiveness. I’m looking for that. This is actually the first piece that I’ve done. I’m looking for a gift in painting. I don’t know if I’ll ever find it but I’ll have a lot of fun trying to find. "

Evans approaches life as if it were one of his paintings. Unabashedly and thankful for every day.

Evans “Life’s a gift. There’s beauty everywhere and it’s fun to try to capture it”

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