Evelyn Peeler Peacock

About Evelyn Peeler Peacock

Evelyn Peeler Peacock (1930 – 1999) inspired artistic expression in every facet of her life. Born in Faith, North Carolina, at the outset of the Great Depression, Evelyn transcended fearsome odds through creative expression. At the age of seven, she lost her beloved mother to influenza and her family home to fire. One month later, her father lost his business and was forced to place Evelyn and two of her six remaining siblings in the Nazareth Children’s Home, where she lived from age seven to eighteen. Despite these life-changing tragedies, Evelyn applied herself wholly, thriving in school, academically, socially, and creatively.

While offered a full Biology scholarship to a hometown college, Evelyn chose instead to join her elder sister in New York City. Arriving in Manhattan in 1949, Evelyn joined a Wall Street accounting firm, enrolled in studies at Hunter College, a painting program at The New School for Social Research, and, later, an interior design program at the New York School of Interior Design. Evelyn was passionate about film as well, absorbing the new cinema that was available to New Yorkers.

As a mother, Evelyn painted regularly and fostered a love of the arts in her children, drawing attention to its life enhancing qualities. She worked with them on drawing, painting, sculpture, decoupage and more, as well as arts exposure, frequenting museums and galleries. Later, she continued this practice with her granddaughters, nurturing them with weekly arts sessions. “Doing art together with grandma was one of our earliest memories and how we remember her to this day. She tenderly shared her passion, not only teaching us about art, but about creativity, self-expression, and patience. These weekly sessions led to a lifelong, impassioned love of and appreciation for art.”

It is particularly fitting that the Evelyn Peeler Peacock Gallery serves as a primary venue of artistic and professional growth for emerging artists in the Southern Finger lakes as they explore their media through increased gallery experience, promotion, and collaborative mentorship with established artists.