Evan Gruzis [BFA ’02] underestimated Madison’s love of tie-dye.

Last June, Gruzis and a group of artist friends pitched a few tents and set up big buckets of bold color at a ’60s-themed Madison Night Market.

There’d been a little promotion for “We’re Dyeing,” but they figured they’d mostly be responsible for giving people supplies.

“We were really surprised at how many people showed up with things to dye,” Gruzis said. “People showed up from home with white clothes. They brought them and dyed them and bagged them up.”

Gruzis, 39, spent some seven years on the international art show cycle before he and his wife, Nicole Rogers, moved to Madison in 2015. In the next few weeks they hope to open their first restaurant, The Heights Kitchen, on 11 N. Allen St. in collaboration with Underground Food Collective.

“He struck me as a very skilled contemporary artist with new fresh ideas,” said Karin Wolf, a City of Madison arts administrator who fielded Gruzis’ request for a BLINK temporary public art grant. “He does work in collectives a lot.

“He brings with him a tribe of artists with similar aesthetics pushing ideas. … With the tie-dye buffet, the process of gathering and engaging people is part of the art.”


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