Evans creates small-scale models of historical Ringling Bros. and
Barnum & Bailey Circus menagerie. The one he's posing newt
to took him five years to build.
Models is a Cherished Art Form
Imagine being a
child going to the circus for the first time.
You walk into the
big white tent, which is surprisingly bigger on the inside than
it appears outside.
You snack on popcorn
and cotton candy before the lights dim low.
The ring master
comes out with his friends a remarkable array of clowns,
contortionists, and exotic animals. you leave with a big
grin on your face and memories to last a lifetime.
The unique world of
the circus developed into his passion, turned into a
career, and now he is a nationally recognized circus model
"My mother and
father took me to my first circus when I was 6 months old and
I've been in love with it ever since." Evens said.
Although he now
lives in Ridgeland with his wife Maggie, he grew up in
Pennsylvania where his father worked as a radio announcer.
He said his father was the first man in the country to broadcast
the Ringling Bro. and Barnum Bailey circus from start to finish
on the radio.
At 15 years old, he
packed his bags and went to a place he said felt like a second
"to get myself
through college, I ran away I joined a carnival," Evans said,
"but that's how I paid my way through college. I ran
rides, set them up, tore them down, and just worked myself to
He said while
working in the Pennsylvania carnival, he got the chance to tour
all over the East Coast with different circus acts.
"It's a real
tight-knit community and they aren't gypsies that come into town
and take you kids and all those old stories you've heard for
years." Evans said. "they're hard working performers
who are dedicated to everything they do."
The dazzle of the
circus life simmered down for a while when he served on the Navy
riverboats during the Vietnam War in 1967 and 1968.
But that couldn't
keep him away from his passion.
"I come home from
Vietnam and I saved every nickel I could." Evans said. "I bought
a merry-go-round and eventually I owned my own 18-right
At the time, he was
living in Florida. While running carnival, Abroo Shows,
his interested peaked in a new hobby - circus model building.
"I read an article
about building a circus wagon in a magazine and one of my next
door neighbors when I was a little kid built circus wagons and I
just thought it was neat," Evans said. "So I built one, then I
built another one and I built another one."
running the carnival in 2000 after being declared legally blind.
He said he has since
built around 1,000 circus models, including a recreation of the
1946 Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which was
authenticated and placed on display in the Eastern States
Exposition in Springfield Mass.
"It's an exact
replica. Everything's there." Evans said "The big
top's there it's animated, I've got 10,000 hand-painted people
in the tent."
Most recently, he
created a model designed from the 1950s Ringling circus
menagerie. That project took him five years to build.
"All the wagons are
made out of styrene plastic. I cut everything with a
single edge razor blade and use different adhesives."
Evans said. "The only thing I don't do, I don't carve the
animals or the people. Everything else I entirely built
An inside look of
the menagerie. Evans said he designed the menagerie from the
Ringling-Barnum Circus during the 1950's.
The model measures
15-feet by 15-feet and will go on tour this summer.
Have art, will
As the area manager
for the Circus Model Builders organization. Evans will travel to
the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisc., for a show until the
end of June.
He and his wife will
visit fairs in New York and Massachusetts before setting up the
display for a show in Savannah in October.
Although he creates
these historically accurate masterpieces, Evans said he's never
considered himself an artist until reading a quote in a
newspaper article one day.
"It's said if you
world with your hands, you're a laborer. If you work with
your hands and your mind, you're a craftsman. If you work
with your hands, your mind, and your heart, you're an artist."
Evans said. "And I think I'm an artist, now."
Article by Genelle
B. Williams - Jasper County Sun - June 18, 2014
All stories are the property of
Sideshow World & their respective authors. Any republication in
part or in whole is strictly prohibited. For more information
contact us here
Back to Miniature Circus