The soul of an artist – the brain of an engineer
Article and photos by Hollen Wheeler
Resident Evette Goldstein is an accomplished abstract artist, a professional calligrapher, a teacher, a tap dancer and … a former aerospace engineer. A short meeting with the 74-year-old doyenne reveals that abstract art with a scientific influence is her passion. Not to mention, Evette wears abstract-themed clothes, jewelry, and glasses. A visit to her home is a display of modern art and abstract furniture, paintings, sculptures, well – everything.
“I have always dabbled in art, and as a child, I was always drawing,” said Evette, who was born in New Jersey and raised in South Lake Tahoe, California. “I loved both science and art, and after graduating from high school, I got a job as a drafter with the telephone company, which led to a career as an aerospace engineer,” she added. At the telephone company, Evette drafted drawings of telephone equipment for the engineering crew for facilities they were going to develop.
Evette eventually landed at Hughes Aircraft Company in Southern California, one of three women in a pool of 50 drafters. The women became a team of electro-mechanical drafters designing printed circuit boards. Her next job with Martin Marietta transferred Evette to Colorado in 1981. She worked in space systems and did NASA projects, including working on the Space Shuttle, being a designer for one of the components of Galileo, a space probe that orbited Jupiter, and working on Magellan, a spacecraft that mapped the surface of Venus. She also developed a mechanical piece that is currently being used on the International Space Station.
After she retired, Evette became a full-time artist, and everything in her art collection is unpredictable, just as abstract art (and she) is. Different-shaped canvases, mismatched corners and angles, secret messages embedded in a piece are all part of an abstract experience. “I love abstract expressionism because it evokes emotion and our current emotion influences what we see or experience when we observe an abstract painting,” she stated.
In much of her work, Evette applies her trade secret of layering different colors of acrylic paint to a 3D texture that she manipulates in her own unique way.
Evette’s art was recently on display at Union American Bistro in Castle Rock. One of her pieces featured is a nod to San Francisco, combining calligraphy, expressionism, and her technique with acrylics. Another piece alludes to the book/movie Hidden Figures, to honor the women of NASA. “This is what happens when you mix the soul of an artist with the brain of an engineer,” she quips.
When she is not creating, Evette teaches calligraphy at Arapahoe Community College and spends time with her family. For more information, visit Evette’s Instagram, @art_by_evette.