‘Attention,’ the poet Mary Oliver wrote, ‘is the beginning of devotion.’ It’s also the starting point for Evelyn Rydz, a multidisciplinary artist whose diverse creative practice – which includes drawing, photography, site-responsive installations and participatory community projects that bring people together in person and online - is grounded by a commitment to close attention as a form of care and a means for connection. It’s evident in everything from her unique dinner parties, designed to foster deep listening and meaningful conversation, to her field studies of coastlines, which often have her peering through jewelers’ glasses and microscopes at manmade detritus that washes ashore.
- J. Houton, writer & art critic
Evelyn Rydz is the recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant, Brother Thomas Fellowship, Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship, SMFA Traveling Fellowship, Artist Resource Trust Grant, a Visual Arts Finalist of the Cintas Knight Foundation, and most recently of the 2020-21 U.S. Latinx Art Forum Charla Fund.
Rydz has created participatory community projects for the LIST Visual Arts Center at MIT, University of Massachusetts, ICA Watershed, Boston University's 808 Gallery, Urbano Project, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Most recently she partnered with the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art on the 2021 Drawing on Love and Justice Sketchbook Collective.
Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Lowe Art Museum (Miami, FL), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA), Palacio de Justicia (Matanzas, Cuba), Palmer Art Museum (Penn State University, PA), Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, MA), Cooper Gallery at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), Galeria Ponce + Robles (Madrid, Spain), Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (Eugene, OR), El Parque Cultural del Caribe (Barranquilla, Colombia), USC Fisher Museum (Los Angeles, CA), DeCordova Museum (Lincoln, MA), Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, AK), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA) among others.
Her work is part of collections including the Federal Reserve Bank, Barr Foundation, Tufts University Art Galleries, Fitchburg Art Museum, DeCordova Museum, and Fidelity Investments.
Rydz received an MFA from SMFA at Tufts University and is currently a Professor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.