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K-State Today

January 19, 2016



Visiting artist Joan Ryan painting exhibition and artist talk

By Heather Bayless

"Summer Haze" by visiting artist Joan Ryan

The Kansas State University art department will present the exhibition "Myths" by artist Joan Ryan Jan. 19-29 in the Mark A. Chapman Gallery in Willard Hall. In addition, Ryan will give an artist talk at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, followed by a gallery reception in the Chapman Gallery.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Ryan's work investigates American legacy and the structure of narrative as a framework in painting and drawing. Using iconic images from advertising, media and historical world events, her work is a reexamination of cultural myth and identity. Wistful images or symbols of innocence, presented in conjunction with props of modern day create an unnerving juxtaposition. This apposition speaks to the commodification of childhood, confronts our culture's selective memory and asks the viewer to relinquish mythologies of our past. Ryan's work challenges the notion of collective memory as static, acknowledges that events may be altered by time and questions the facade that masks the 21st century.

Ryan is an associate professor at The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. Her work has been shown extensively on the east coast as well as in Germany, with solo shows at Soho 20 Gallery, New York; Provincetown Museum, A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, New York; Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts; and DADA Post, in Berlin, Germany. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Puffin Foundation and The Lillian Orlowsky/William Freed National Foundation; her work is represented in the Museum of Modern Art, Artist Files Archives, DeCordova Museum, Boston, Provincetown Museum and other collections. 

This lecture is presented and funded by the Student Governing Association's Fine Arts privilege fee. This event is a part of the art department's Visiting Artists Series for 2015-2016.

The Mark A. Chapman Gallery, on the first floor of Willard Hall, opened in 2005. Cheryl Mellenthin and Mark Chapman funded a complete renovation of the former Willard Hall Gallery, increasing the exhibition space to more than 1,400 square feet along with 400 square feet dedicated to exhibition preparation and kitchen facilities. The art department hosts Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts student exhibitions in the gallery as part of graduation requirements each semester. The technology friendly gallery serves not only exhibition purposes, but also provides a location for an active Visiting Artist lecture program.