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Features

You're invited – virtual talk to showcase Geneva artist

A detail is shown of the exhibit titled "Synapsis 6: grief."
A detail is shown of the exhibit titled "Synapsis 6: grief."

The artist talk by Rita Grendze of Geneva originally planned April 18 has been moved up a day and converted to a virtual chat with her on Aurora Public Art's YouTube channel at 11 a.m. April 17.

Grendze will discuss the exhibit and her process, then answer questions submitted by viewers using an online chat application, a news release stated. Photos of the exhibit may be viewed at bit.ly/APAC_Grendze. Viewers may watch and ask questions at the following address at bit.ly/Grendze_APAC or by visiting the Aurora Public Art channel on YouTube.

"We are thrilled to offer this opportunity for the community, especially students who are participating in e-learning during school closures, to interact with our featured artist. Using technology to connect our citizens with public art is just one example of how great it is to live in a Smart City," Jen Evans, director of Aurora Public Art, stated in the release.

Grendze's installation is titled "Synapsis 6: grief," and is made from drinking straws, embroidery floss, surveyor's twine, plastic tubing, cardboard tubes and other cord. It occupies a space 16 feet tall by about 20 feet wide and 8 feet deep.

"The series grew from my interest in mapping how I think brain synapses look," Grendze wrote. "My younger son has some mental health issues that have taught me a lot about how our brains process emotions … We are making order from chaos constantly. In the best situations, almost instantaneously. But in this piece, there isn't a lovely crescendo and resolution with the emotions all sewn up. Instead, the installation is holding a space that is ordered and chaotic at the same time – defined and yet fluid within the parameters. This iteration is delving into my understanding of grief both as an observer of grief in others and as someone living with it (having recently lost my mother)."

The event is free and sponsored by the city of Aurora.

About Rita Grendze

Rita Grendze received a fine arts degree in fiber from Cleveland Institute of Art in 1987, and her master's degree in fiber from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1994. Immediately following her graduate work, Grendze received a Fulbright scholarship and spent a year in Latvia studying symbolism in Latvian folk costume. Grendze has 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, she has worked with Redmoon Theater creating costumes and props for outdoor spectacles, has taught community workshops in Kane County and been involved with Water Street Studios in Batavia. Her sculpture has been shown broadly, including monumental installations in St. Charles, Chicago, St. Joseph, Michigan, Reedsburg, Wisconsin, and the Latvian National Library in Riga, Latvia.

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