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School of Visual & Performing Arts

Department of Art : The Gallery at the Visual & Performing Arts Center

Ryan Ames

Ryan Ames

Artist Bio

A native of Newtown, CT, Ryan Ames received a BA in Media Studies and Studio Art from WCSU in 2014. He moved to California and worked for a Silicon Valley firm as a project manager for development of educational applications for children. He also freelanced on several other projects. After five years, he returned to Newtown to pursue his MFA studies at WCSU. Ames’ artistic passion is editorial illustration, mixing conceptual design and symbolic language to encapsulate a story and educate the viewer.


2021 MFA Thesis

Artist Statement

With a strong drive towards educational media, I have always had a desire to create conceptual and socially impactful illustrations on subjects both familiar and new. My goal is to create while learning, thus helping to teach. For the past five years, while living in California, I engaged in freelance projects including packaging design, logo creation, children’s book illustration, and UI/UX design. Upon returning to the East Coast, I have revitalized my personal work and embarked on a career in editorial illustration.

My art is a concoction of the early artistic inspiration of my uncle, David Schwanemann, mixed with the conceptual thinking of Guy Billout and Brian Stauffer. Bold primary colors alongside concise graphic imagery emanate my love for works like the WPA posters of the ’40s and marketing illustrations of Milton Glaser, Peter Max, and Saul Bass in the ’60s.

Using digital and traditional mediums, I aim to create a visual piece that while highlighting the incredible research of a writer/storyteller, will also educate and inspire the viewer.

This series is titled “Hindsight” and is an extremely personal subject I have decided to decipher onto canvas. Unfortunately, we are reminded of the horrors of gun violence too often in this country, yet only act or start debate after a tragic loss. Many times, money and personal game outweigh the safety of our population. It is our responsibility to protect the youth of this country and with every young life lost, we are not only losing a child, neighbor, or friend but squandering the potential role models and heroes of our nation.