About Rita Grendze

I was born in rural Manitoba to immigrant parents: a Lutheran minister father and kindergarten teacher mother. The youngest of six children, I early-on learned to find my own, quiet corner to read and to observe others. I spent many hours sequestered under tables covered with patterned blankets, more comfortable with books, pencils and paper, than with my rowdy brothers and sister. I learned to love writing, drawing and constructing my own world. While the scale of my environments has changed, the love of tactility, a good story, and the play of light has not.

I hold an MFA (Cranbrook Academy of Art) and a BFA (Cleveland Institute of Art) in fiber with a strong interest in drawing. My formal education was further supplemented when I was awarded a Fulbright Grant for study in Latvia, where I immersed myself in the history and practice of ethnic craft, particularly embroidery. I have shown widely since finishing my studies in 1994, with my work landing in several private collections. I currently maintain a studio in Batavia, IL.

While my artistic journey has taken me from my teen years in Cleveland to several years in Europe and a decade in New York, my family life has brought me to the far western suburbs of Chicago. Since 2001 I have been exploring this culturally rich community, discovering a true home for me, my husband and two sons. When I am not in the studio I can be found studying art in the West Loop, running the Fox River Trail, or, just as in childhood, sequestered in a quiet corner with a good read.