Artist Showcase - Ralph J. Ryan


Born in Illinois, Ralph lived in Northern California from 1961, when his parents moved the family to the San Francisco Bay Area, until 2001.

The happenings and psychedelia of the 1960's fed the imagination of a high school student with artistic talents. It was during this time that Ralph's interest in art flourished. He studied painting, graphic design, printing, and photography and received a degree in Industrial Arts from San Jose State University in 1971. While in college he became involved in the theatre, studied set design and has worked as a scenic and lighting designer for nearly forty years. Many of his paintings reflect the dramatic lighting and contrast of the stage.

During the mid 1970's, Ralph turned his art interests to Science Fiction and Fantasy. His work has been seen in galleries and at science fiction convention art shows. He has won many awards for his work, and his art is in private collections throughout the country. Though his art has been inspired by media and literature, he is currently concentrating on landscapes of the imagination.

In 1992, Ralph married fellow thespian and Minnesota native, Carol Ann Hoffmann. In 2001, they moved to the Twin Cities area. Since then, Ralph has begun his theatre career anew, working with theatres in the Twin Cities, greater Minnesota, and Wisconsin. He has continued to pursue his art with showings at the New York Mills Cultural Center and the Phipps Center, as well as numerous science fiction and fantasy conventions in the U.S. and Canada.

Ralph was Artist Guest of Honor at Icon 32 in 2007. His painting, "Under The Green Star", was in the "Foot in the Door" exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art in 2010. He also entered the River Art 2010 Competition and Exhibit. His painting, "Over The Tidewater", was selected for the exhibit and publication in the catalog book of the exhibit. Ralph has another piece, "Solaris" published in the April 2011 issue of "Phase5 Monthly Review".

My art is an exploration of traditional, science fiction, and fantasy landscapes. Since childhood, I have pursued artistic endeavors. The medium and style has changed over the years, but I paint for the pure love of making pictures of places. Working in acrylics and watercolors, my paintings reflect the influences of impressionist painting, a long-time interest in architecture, and the dramatic lighting of the theatre.

Artwork: Nimbus