Earlier this month, Rob Evans, passed away due to illness. Rob was part of the foundation of Light-Works, bringing patience, quality and craft in all he did.
Almost 30 years ago a young man in his mid-twenties sat across from me in my office applying for a job at Light-Works. He showed me his resume and several printed photographs, and I was interested, but what impressed me the most was his mannerism of total organization. Everything Rob was labeled in a neat, consistent and orderly fashion. I thought, this is just the person we needed.
For the first half of his time at Light-Works, Rob ran our camera room, producing the finest slides and transparencies for artwork available. He then moved to the film & scanning, and then the finishing area; where Rob’s precision prospered.
But mostly I admired Rob’s methodology, planning, and precision. In fact, I’d never seen anything quite like it. What Rob did, he always did well, and it worked well. He inherently knew how to focus and shut out the static of the workplace, and accomplish fine work time after time.
As the company changed, so, begrudgingly did Rob too. Even though he still kept rolls of film in the freezer for the time when digital and computers would just go away, he adapted, and adapted well. He and I worked together on many, many installs of wall murals all over Vermont. The hospitals, travel centers, museums, colleges, retail shops, bare his mark everywhere. Every Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop in North America displays Rob’s menu boards, engineered with his mind, and built with his hands. The hospital that Rob spend most of his last days in and his final moments displays his fine craft throughout with the murals and large scale employee portraits. I enjoyed the work and felt at ease with Rob in tow, as his processes for producing the murals and learning to install them became more and more refined.
We became closer too. I learned what a great lover of dogs he was, particularly Shepherds. We talked all about cars. And whenever I found something interesting, amazing, or just bizarre in the news, Rob would be the person I’d go to discuss it with. During his absence over the past months, I tried to fill his shoes often calling him for “tech support”. And I found myself doing things the “Rob Way,” slowly with planning and precision. In fact, when I do my job in my office, dealing with multitasking and chaos, I often take a breath and channel Rob, calming myself and reminding myself of methodology and precision.
Of course I’ll miss him, but I know he’ll always be with me.