3. Mr. Ryder’s house. The house on the corner of 34th and Clifton is a veritable museum full of paintings, sculptures, and other forms of art which sprang from the creative and talented mind of William George Ryder. He was an artist whose work had been featured in the Arts Garden and whom the Indianapolis Museum of Art has honored. NUVO, The Indianapolis Recorder, and The Indianapolis Star have all chronicled his life. Most importantly, he was an artist who lived and worked in the neighborhood.
Mr. Ryder passed away on May 5, 2017. Mark Ryder, his son who was still processing his loss, joined by Ebony Chapel of The Indianapolis Recorder, explained Mr. Ryder’s vision and philosophy to the enthralled youth. Other than the words of Mark, not a sound could be heard as the youth took in the array of art, studying the photos, and marveling at the sculptures. It was like they had been transported to a magical land within their own neighborhood.
Fighting back tears, Mark recounted how Mr. Ryder saw beauty in the neighborhood, walking the alleys and streets, finding lost and discarded items and creating art from them. Repurposing the discarded. He displayed his art throughout his yard as well as within his house, witnessing the impact his art had on the community. And he continued to create up until his final days.
Januarie York had these words to say as she was “still thinking about how yesterday poured into my soul. I had to fight so many tears at so many points. From being able to feel a person’s actual spirit to listening to their life and viewing their work to giving the young people something bigger than a canvas to work with – all of it lifted my soul higher. Mr. Ryder, Ebony & the Ryder Family – thank you greatly for what you allowed to happen! It certainly does not fall on deaf senses. The hearts are abundantly thankful to you all.”