Rita Grendze

I think of my art as a study of material and time. Making sculpture from multiples of found and manufactured objects, I often combine a hard structure like steel with a softer, less permanent element, such as felt or thread. Looking for the familiar in objects, I allow myself to be seduced by shapes and materials. I then use a joining process that emphasizes rhythm and the passing of time: welding hundreds of hemispheres together, knitting dozens of yarn cords, drawing thousands of small circles. In each medium I’m creating patterns, but the volume of the materials and markings is indicative of real time passed. Within this framework, I insert materials like spices, hand written notes, and dried plants that use other senses to involve the viewer, to possibly invoke a memory.

I earned my BFA in Fiber and Drawing from Cleveland Institute of Art in 1987; my MFA in Fiber from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1994. I’ve taught at Maryland Institute College of Art in the Fiber and Foundations departments, as well as at Jersey City University. Since moving to the Chicago area in 2001, I have worked with Redmoon Theater creating costumes and props for outdoor spectacles, as well as leading youth workshops for their All Hallow’s Eve project, but mostly I’ve been juggling my responsibilities to my family with studio work. My artwork has been shown in galleries and museums, including the ASU Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona; the American Craft Museum, New York, New York and Cranbrook Museum of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. I currently have several pieces in traveling shows, including the Center for Latvian Diaspora Art (in Latvia).

Since August of 2010 I’ve had a studio at Water Street Studios in Batavia, Il. The gallery is beautiful, the community is flourishing. Come visit us either virtually or in person: http://waterstreetstudios.com.