Aquí y allá: juntos a la mesa (Here and There: Together at the Table)

Created for the ICA Watershed, East Boston, 2019

Aquí y Allá: Juntos a La Mesa highlights the important role the common table can serve as a site for gathering and nourishment. Since 2016, artist Evelyn Rydz has invited more than 250 women to partake in communal meals and diverse stories through an ongoing, multigenerational community project, Comida Casera — Spanish for “homemade food” or “food from home.” Participants in Comida Casera events share stories and a dish inspired by a person who had a meaningful impact on their connection to home, expanding notions of home and community through the simple and welcoming gestures of food and storytelling.

Hear stories recorded at Rydz’s lively table at past Comida Casera events. Surround yourself with a collection of plants comprising of a range of local edible species grown by Kannan Thiruvengadam of Eastie Farm, and reflect on your past, present and future relationship with food sources. Visitors are invited to share their own stories on the cards provided and leave responses for others to read.

Throughout the summer, Rydz and Thiruvengadam will also be hosting a series of programs and activities on cultivating food, home, and community. For more information check out the program website here.

A La mesa / TO THE TABLE

Created for the exhibition Nine Moments for Now at the Cooper Gallery of African and African American Research, Hutchins Center, Harvard University, 2018 - 2019.

A La Mesa / To the Table calls us to the table to partake in a shared communal meal made up of diverse stories. It is a call to welcome strangers through acts of hospitality, trust and generosity.

Participants are invited to sit at the table and listen to women’s stories from previous Comida Casera events using food and storytelling to create a shared space of exchange, celebrate differences, map experiences of home, and cultivate community.

On this table, blank recipe cards and pencils are provided for participants to record and archive their memories, drawings and recipes inspired by a person and shared dish who have had a meaningful impact on their connection to home.