Celebrating Our Students’ Accomplishments of 2019-2020

By Marilyn Nguyen (Ryman ’11), Development Coordinator 

So much has changed since March, when the pandemic started to impact us directly, causing us to end our spring semester classes a few weeks early. Although the fall and spring semesters feel like a lifetime ago, as we get ready for our 2020 virtual graduation and student exhibition on July 30, we wanted to reflect on the accomplishments of our students.

During the 2019-2020 year, we served 477 young artists across Southern California from 180 zip codes and four counties – Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino. Classes were held at the studios of our wonderful partners’ campuses – Otis College of Art and Design and California State University, Fullerton. From meeting captivating guest artists to hosting our student-led “Make Your Mark in the Park” drawing festival, our students learned so much this past year!

Ryman Arts Classes

Fall 2019 welcomed new and returning students to our studio art program. Students were eager and excited to pick up their creative instruments and begin drawing and painting! Through our intimate and supportive class environment, our students developed and refined their foundation art skills while also learning more about themselves as young artists.

Master Teaching Artist Ichiro Irie’s Intermediate Drawing & Painting class on the first day of class.

In-class student artwork from Foundation Drawing

Throughout the semester, students hone in figure drawing techniques by drawing from a live model.

Students create their self-portraits with a mirror, acrylic paint, and a single light source.

Advanced Painting students set up their assignments for critique.

During class critiques, students discuss their weekly art assignments and receive feedback from their peers.

Lee Garber-Patel (Ryman ‘20) shares a watercolor self-portrait in class.

Ryman Arts parents provide the best snacks for our students!

College and Career Activities

Eighteen college representatives from across the country joined us for our annual College Day in the fall. Ryman Arts students had individual portfolio reviews and learned about the college admissions process, financial aid, college life, and more!

Ryman Arts alumni participate in a panel discussion of college life.

We also welcomed an array of guest artists who shared about their career as working artists.

Guest artist Yvonne Hsuan Ho shares her experience working as a storyboard artist and provides guidance to students who want to pursue a career in animation.

Renowned Los Angeles arts educator, printmaker, and publisher, Francesco X. Siqueiros visits Master Teaching Artist Michelle Mary Lee’s class.

Guest artist Nathan Ota gives a painting demonstration.

During his visit to Ryman Arts, guest artist Alejandre Abel discusses how his body of work explores masculinity and vulnerability through hyperrealism.

Make Your Mark in the Park

In October 2019, Ryman Arts hosted its tenth annual The Big Draw LA with our student-led “Make Your Mark in the Park” festival, held at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles. Our students engaged with approximately 3,000 attendees, leading various types of fun, participatory drawing activities for all ages.

Students lead a water-coloring booth inspired by the works of legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki, our 2nd Sklar Creative Visionary Award honoree.

The Animation Station booth invites guests of all ages to create their own thaumatrope, an optical illusion disk that appears to animate participants’ drawings. 

Ryman Arts’ Spring 2020 classes ended a few weeks early to keep our students and staff safe, but we were glad to have completed most of the semester. “We sent our student artists home with art materials and encouragement to keep drawing every day!” remarked our Executive Director, Diane Brigham.

Master Teaching Artist Sergio Rebia’s Foundation Drawing class wraps up their Spring 2020 semester.

We have completed another amazing year at Ryman Arts and look forward to celebrating our 170 Ryman Arts students who will be graduating this year. Join us as we celebrate our wonderful Class of 2020 on Thursday, July 30, 2020, at 6 PM on YouTube Live! The online graduating student artwork exhibition will open the same day.

Graduation and Student Artwork Exhibition Event Page