Christopher Leith Evans

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Christopher Leith Evans
Born 1954 (age 61–62)
Bremerton, Washington, USA
Nationality American
Notable work "New York In the Light of Memory"
Movement Realis

Christopher Leith Evans (born 1954) (commonly credited as Christopher Evans or Chris Evans) is an American artist, digital matte painter and visual effects art director for major motion pictures. His best known film work includes Titanic, Return of the Jedi, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Ewok Adventure. His best known fine art piece is a 360 degree representation of the view visible from the top of the south tower of the World Trade Center prior to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 entitled "New York In the Light of Memory". In addition to his work for galleries and films, he has also painted archaeological reconstructions for National Geographic magazine.

Early life[edit]

Evans was born in 1954 in Bremerton, Washington, to Virginia Joan (née Bartholomew) and Alan Edward Evans. As a child, Evans was encouraged by his parents to express himself through drawing and painting. In high school, he joined the staff of the school newspaper, drawing cartoons and caricatures, writing and illustrating articles and taking photographs. Inspired by a teacher, Evans began to focus his academic career on art, traveling to Europe upon graduation and viewing classical art in museums in Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and England.[1] While his family members supported his artistic endeavors as a youngster, when Evans applied to college he was encouraged to seek an education preparing him for a "real job". He began classes at UCLA as an art history major, but continued to paint in his free time. Upon showing his work to his art history professors, Evans was encouraged by them to change his major area of study, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1977 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting, sculpture and graphic arts. He continued his studies and received a Master of Fine Arts from the same university in 1980.[2][3]

Film career[edit]

Shortly after college, Evans watched the film The Empire Strikes Back. Impressed by the film's portrayal of the Cloud City, he submitted samples of his work to George Lucas' company, Industrial Light & Magic, and was offered a position as a matte painter.[2]

Evans subsequently became the head of the matte painting department at ILM, where he continued to work until 1989, contributing to such films as Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, The Dark Crystal and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. While at ILM, Evans was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on Willow, and was awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for his work on The Ewok Adventure.[citation needed]

After leaving ILM, Evans joined Matte World Digital, where he worked as a digital matte painter and art director, contributing to films including Titanic,[4] The Green Mile and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.[5]

Fine art[edit]

Evans' art has been displayed in several solo, group and public exhibitions, including shows at the New York Historical Society, Duke University Museum of Art, the Neuberger Museum of Art and the Los Angeles Theater Center, and has been featured in the New York Times.[3] His best known work is "New York In the Light of Memory", a panoramic representation of the view from The South Tower of the World Trade Center prior to the attacks of September 11, 2001.[6][7] Evans has also contributed historical recreations of anthropological sites to National Geographic magazine.[8] He is currently represented by the Fischbach Gallery in New York City.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Evans is married to Tamara Weller-Evans. They have one son, Oliver.[citation needed]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Film awards and nominations[edit]

  • 2008 nominee Visual Effects Society - Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Motion Picture for Zodiac
  • 2007 nominee Visual Effects Society - Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project for Greece: Secrets of the Past
  • 1989 nominee American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - Best Effects, Visual Effects for Willow
  • 1985 recipient Emmy award - Outstanding Special Visual Effects for The Ewok Adventure

Art awards[edit]

  • 2005 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant
  • 2000 Honorary Ph.D. Academy of Art College, San Francisco, California
  • 1979 Ford Foundation Travel/Study Grant[3]

Further reading[edit]

  • Smith, Thomas G. (1986). Industrial Light and Magic: The Art of Special Effects. New York: Ballantine. ISBN 0-345-32263-0. 


  1. ^ del Castillo, Priscilla (2002). "A Talent Without Limits". The Herald of Christian Science. Special Issue. pp. 22–26. 
  2. ^ a b Chell, David (1987). Moviemakers at Work. Redmond, Washington: Microsoft Press. pp. 293–294. ISBN 1-55615-037-7. 
  3. ^ a b c "Fischbach Gallery website". 
  4. ^ Diaz, Jesus. "How the original Star Wars trilogy fooled everyone with matte paintings," Sploid, January 19, 2015. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  5. ^ Duncan, Jody (January, 2009) "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Cinefex, No. 116, pgs. 94-96
  6. ^ "9/11/02: Art And Culture". Gotham Gazette. September 9, 2002. 
  7. ^ Bailey, Peter (July 24, 2002). "City's Emotions on View". 
  8. ^ "C. Evans" (PDF). Bay Shore High School Anumni Inductees. Bay Shore, New York: Bay Shore High School Alumni Association. 2004. 
  9. ^ "Christopher Evans' Official Website". 

External links[edit]