Lesley Ann Evans

North Slave
233 N'dhilo
P.O. Box 1744
N'Dilo, NT X1A 2P3

Artist Story

My mother taught my sister and I how to bead and sew at a very young age. We got used to using a needle by making pendants and necklaces. I have always enjoyed sewing and beading, but only picked it up seriously again after my first daughter was born.

After high school, I always wondered about what else was out there for me. I decided to quit my office job to pursue a Fashion Design program in pattern making and clothing in Saskatoon. This opened up a whole new world because I got to observe and interact with other artists. I was also able to attend traditional pow-wows, which allowed me to revel in the beauty of the beadwork and clothes made specifically for the occasion. It is through these experiences that I finally understood the amount of work and energy that is put into creating patterned clothing and beaded art.

I taught myself how to bead by observing other people’s work and making it my own. I especially love to incorporate small details into my work – like crystals, rhinestones and semi-precious stones such as turquoise – to be able to spot my own creations. I love to create a variety of items, but I especially enjoy making dentalium earrings with crystals. This is part of why my work is unique: it is inspired by tradition, with a contemporary twist!

If I am not sewing or beading, I feel incomplete. When I talk with other artists and we start to imagine what type of items we could create, I get really eager to undertake new projects. The process of creating art – from getting a new idea, to figuring out how to actualize it, to completing the item – is so invigorating to me. I also want to create because I can help pass down traditions to my two young daughters. They love to see my creations, and they often say: “Make me one too, mom!”

Artist Bio: 

Lesley Ann is a member of Yellowknives Dene First Nation and grew up in the communities of Dettah and N’Dilo.  She specializes in clothing, beading and jewelry.  After graduating high school, Lesley Ann answered her calling and got her Diploma in Fashion Design in Saskatoon.  Over time Lesley has tried many different designs of beadwork, and has self-taught by networking with other artists.  Lesley Ann currently sells her work from home, through social media, or in person at various craft sales in Yellowknife.  She plans to expand her small business, Dene Beadz, by creating a website and offering workshops to people interested in learning her craft.

Last Updated: August 11, 2021

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