Ryman Arts Students and Alumni Collaboration Inspired by Marvel

By Marilyn Nguyen (Ryman ’11), Development Coordinator 

In addition to high quality fine art instruction, college and career counseling, and supportive services to talented high school students, Ryman Arts also provides unique opportunities for students and alumni to experience the thriving creative industry of Southern California.

In anticipation for the Sklar Creative Visionary Award Celebration honoring Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige at the Majestic Downtown in Los Angeles on the evening of November 7, Ryman Arts offered an exciting opportunity with Marvel Studios this summer. Ryman Arts students and alumni applied for 20 openings to an exclusive behind-the-scenes Marvel Studios tour and to take part in a 3-day Marvel inspired workshop, creating a 20-panel collaboration with guidance from Marvel Visual and Disney Imagineering artists.

Marvel Tour

Ryman Arts students and alumni with the Visual Department team at Marvel Studios

On the morning of August 13, Ryman Arts students and alumni arrived at the office of Marvel Studios excited for their exclusive inside look into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“Going to Marvel Studios on Monday and seeing how these artists are creating the visual language of Marvel and its movies were super cool. They set the tone for the whole Cinematic Universe that will extend beyond them for years to come,” remarked Elizabeth Ignatius (Ryman ’17).

After the tour, participants met with the Marvel Studios Visual Development team. With the guidance from visual artists Ryan Meinerding, Andy Park, Anthony Francisco, and Jackson Sze, our students and alumni began planning the Marvel inspired project that they would be creating over course of the week.

Marvel Workshop

Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Executive Scot Drake helps Ryman Arts alumni and students plan their collaboration

The next day, participants continued to develop the layout design of the Marvel inspired collaboration at the Ryman Arts’ offices. Artist Scot Drake visited on the first day of the workshop, introducing his background and career before leading everyone in an interactive discussion to plan out the direction of the 20-panel collaboration. Exercising artistic and leadership skills developed through Ryman Arts, the participants brainstormed as a team to bring their individual ideas together.

Thankful for being part of the journey, Scot Drake commented, “The diverse creativity showcased by the students was impressive! It was also inspiring to experience the collaborative environment created by articulate, convicted, and respectful artists looking to further the craft.”

In between painting sessions, participants position their individual panels together in order to provide constructive critiques on the project as a whole

Reflecting on his superhero painting in relation to the theme of the collaboration, alumnus Justus Ross (Ryman ’15) explained, “I think that art is probably the closest thing to magic because magic is about changing reality. And that’s what art does. It’s changing reality of what you see to at least the viewer.”

Artwork by Lorenzo Crump (Ryman ’16)

Choosing to create the center piece, alumnus Lorenzo Crump (Ryman ’16) shared: “What I’m creating is the focal point of everyone else’s piece, the center. I wanted to incorporate negative space in a dynamic setting, incorporated light and shadows. That is why the figure is carrying an orb of radiating rays of light would pass on to the others. She is lighting up everyone else’s pieces.” 

In one week, the students and alumni completed an impressive collaboration, based on the theme of arts education as the hero of society. Each of the 20 artworks will be for sale at the Sklar Creative Visionary Award Celebration this fall to support Ryman Arts’ effort in continuing arts education opportunities for our students.

We want to thank Marvel Studios, their Visual Development team, the Creative Executive of Walt Disney Imagineering Scot Drake, Marvel Studio’s Brian Gay, and all the participants who dedicated their time and creative efforts to produce the collaborative, Marvel inspired work of art.


Nicholas Azurin (Ryman ’15) – Otis College of Art and Design

Ilsa Bauer (Ryman ’17) – Esperanza High School, 12th grade

Emily Cattouse (Ryman ’19) – John Muir High School, 12th grade

Olivia Chen (Ryman ’19) – Arcadia High School, 11th grade

Katia Coronado (Ryman ’17) – California State University, Long Beach

Lorenzo Crump (Ryman ’16) – Otis College of Art and Design

Noelle Davidson (Ryman ’17) – Otis College of Art and Design

Sarah Doo (Ryman ’15) – California College of the Arts

Elizabeth Ignatius (Ryman ’17) – University of California, Riverside

Sabrina Jiang (Ryman ’19) – Los Osos High School, 11th grade

Tina Jiang (Ryman ’19) – Los Osos High School, 11th grade

Truman Lesak (Ryman ’18) – Rhode Island School of Design

Raquel Martinez (Ryman ’16) – California State University, Fullerton

Josiah Oballes (Ryman ’19) – Monrovia High School, 12th grade

Justus Ross (Ryman ’15) – University of California, Riverside

Miriam Sills (Ryman ’18) – Woodrow Wilson Classical High School, 12th grade

Kianna Teachout (Ryman ’17) – Pacific Northwest College of Art

Alanna Tran (Ryman ’16) – School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Kiani Wish (Ryman ’16) – Long Beach City College

Amy Yoon (Ryman ’19) – Brea Olinda High School, 12th grade