Evelyn Rydz

Folded Waters (Atlantic)

Folded Waters (Atlantic)

Coastline Series

Coastline Series

artist statement

My work focuses on contemporary coastlines and ways our everyday lives impact and are impacted by changing oceans. Exploring perceptions of scale, my work draws connections between everyday actions and lasting impacts, fleeting and geological time, unstable and seemingly fixed conditions.

Over the last decade I have studied, collected, and documented remnants of modern life washed ashore the Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf Coasts in North and South America. These field studies have inspired the imagery in my work and have led to ongoing investigations mapping global currents and what travels above and below their surfaces. Walking for days along coasts with massive amounts of debris, I imagine future archeologists excavating the residues of our contemporary history. While the cluttered surfaces map accumulated waste and excess, the coasts’ most poignant effect is its status as harbinger of possible future landscapes. My experiences along the boundaries of land and sea are translated into drawings as a connection to traditional ways of making through slow repetitive hand gestures - a sharp contrast to the mass-produced and quickly disposed objects often depicted in my work. Through detailed visual descriptions of surface, my drawings aim to create a space for perceiving texture and participating in imagining how something has been transformed through the passage of time.

As a first-generation American with parents born in Cuba and Colombia, and grandparents born in Poland I am interested in relocation across coasts and ways we are shaped by the landscapes of home. When moving to Boston I made regular visits to local coasts, experiencing the coast from a new perspective as if building a relationship to a distinct body of water. I was originally drawn to the stories these found objects tell of transformation, adaptation and suggestions of past events misplacing them in foreign landscapes. As I continued to observe recurring patterns along different coastlines, my curiosity crystallized into concern and led to an ongoing investigation of global currents and what travels above and below their surfaces.

My new projects delve deeper into the handmade and continue to explore the intersection of environmental and cultural change. The aim of my work is to cultivate multiple perspectives, from individual to global currents and the cumulative human actions that link them and us together. 

- Evelyn Rydz


Raised in Miami, Evelyn Rydz currently lives and works in Boston creating visual art and community-based projects. Rydz is recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant, Brother Thomas Fellowship, Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship, SMFA Traveling Fellowship, Artist Resource Trust Grant and is a Cintas Knight Foundation Visual Arts Finalist. Her work is part of various collections including the Federal Reserve Bank, Barr Foundation, Fitchburg Art Museum, DeCordova Museum, and Fidelity Investments.

Recent and upcoming exhibitions include: ICA Watershed, East Boston, MA, Havana Biennial, Palacio de Justicia, Matanzas, Cuba; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; Palmer Art Museum at Penn State University, PA; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; Jordan Snitzer Museum of Art, Eugene, OR; El Parque Cultural del Caribe, Barranquilla, Colombia; USC Fisher Museum, Los Angeles, CA; DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA; Anchorage Museum, AK; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA; Smith College Museum of Art, North Hampton, MA; and Lowe Art Museum, Miami, FL. Rydz has led community projects as visiting artist at the LIST Visual Arts Center at MIT, 808 Gallery at Boston University, MFA and ICA Watershed, Boston. She received an MFA from SMFA at Tufts University and is currently Associate Professor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Interested in Evelyn’s work? Contact cubeartboston@gmail.com to connect!