The Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship Program

About the Rydells

Roy and Frances Rydell arrived in Santa Cruz in 1947 from Hollywood, California, drawn by its rural beauty. Roy, an architect and artist, and Frances, an animal lover bought the old Oceanview School in Bonny Doon, which they restored, expanded, and filled with their varied creative interests. They became active in the community, supporting organizations such as the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History where Roy was a key fundraiser in the mid-1980s. The Rydells were also early advocates of the Community Foundation and in 1985, started our first donor advised fund. Understanding the importance of a permanent resource for visual artists, they established the Roy and Frances Visual Arts Fund through which they facilitated grants to a variety of local arts organizations.

Friends of the Rydells always comment on their personal style and attention to detail. Nowhere is this more evident than in their bequest of their entire estate to the Community Foundation for the Rydell Visual Arts Fund. Predeceased by Frances (1998), Roy passed away in 2000 leaving an indelible impression on the people who knew them, a charitable gift to the Foundation, and an enduring benefit to the arts and artists of our community.

"Beauty in the home, in the garden, and in the community." -Roy & Frances Rydell

About the Fellowship Program

Roy and Frances Rydell established the Roy and Frances Rydell Visual Arts Fund in 1985 to promote local visual artists and arts organizations. Following their passing, their estate was bequeathed to the Foundation, with the proceeds of the sale helping to grow the fund to its current level of over $2 million. The Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship program was developed by the Community Foundation Santa Cruz County in collaboration with the local arts community to honor the wishes and intent of the Rydells in establishing the fund. Now in its 14th year, the fellowship program, including the latest group of fellows, has awarded $600,000 directly to artists. Four new fellowships were announced in early 2022.

The fellowships help individual visual artists pursue their creative work and are made solely on the merits of their artistry and not tied to the completion of any specific projects. Nominating organizations are asked to consider the broad disciplines the Rydells thought of as part of the visual arts: painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, installation, mixed media, stage set design, photography, costume design, textiles, glass, film and video. Judges are comprised of a panel of three internationally-recognized arts professionals.

The 2020-2021 Rydell Fellows will be featured in the Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship Exhibition at Museum of Art & History in downtown Santa Cruz beginning in late January 2022.

Rydell Visual Arts Fellows

Kajahl Benes-Trapp
Janette Gross
Kristiana Chan
Anna Friz
Cid Pearlman
Ann Altstatt
Marc D'Estout
Edward Ramirez
Robert Chiarito
David Dunn
Myra Eastman
Robin Kandel
Kathleen Crocetti
Helen and Newton Harrison
Irene Lusztig
Jody Alexander
Jim Denevan
Elizabeth Stephens
Ian Everard
Rocky Lewycky
Isabelle Jenniches
Encyclopedia Pictura
Tim Craighead
Victoria May
Andrea Borsuk
Andrew Ruble
Skip Epperson
Felicia Rice
Terri Garland
Daniella Woolf
Hanna Hannah
Beverly Rayner
Robert Larson
William Marino

View the 2020-21 Fellows work

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