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Sally T. Ryan


"Psychosketchbooks of SAINTRYAN®: an Installation"
Press Release, August-September 2001:

"Imagery from over thirty years of personal sketchbooks by the Michigan artist SAINTRYAN®
will fill the walls of Book Beat gallery, 26010 Greenfield Road in Oak Park, September 2 through 29, 2001.

There will be an opportunity to meet the artist Sunday, September 2 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. The afternoon will include an appreciative introduction to her work by the exhibit curator Mike Mosher at 3:00 p.m.

SAINTRYAN(TM), a.k.a., Sally Ryan, M.F.A., is currently on the faculty of the Art Department of Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including the Galerie Berthe, Paris, the Galleria le Logge, Assisi; in the United States and in Ireland. Her portrait of former Justice Lindemer is in the Michigan State Capitol collection.

She taught for many years in Ann Arbor public schools in their most expansive and innovative periods, developing a highschool "Creative Thinking" course. Upon retirement she devoted herself to her painting, living in an A-frame house the Ryans built on windswept Inishbofin Island, County Galway, Ireland before returning to Ann Arbor in 2000; the isolation bred many of the delights and monsters of the imagination exhibited here.

While her skilled paintings include both meticulously-rendered surrealist compositions and more traditional landscapes, her Dionysiac sketchbooks overflow with swirling biomorphic and carnal imagery, Egyptian and Celtic architectural and cultural fragments, frothy eroticism and a perversely juvenile demeanor ripe with impishness. For nearly thirty years Ryan has kept these sketchbooks securely guarded, access to them forbidden to her family, friends and students. Upon the patient urging of the curator she has finally agreed to revelation.

Curator Mike Mosher is a former Ann Arbor Pioneer High School ('73) student of Sally Ryan, and has grown to appreciate the influence of this great, liberatory teacher. He is Assistant Professor of Art/Communication Multimedia at Saginaw Valley State University.

He locates SAINTRYAN®'s work within a peculiarly Michigan surrealism and Dada that includes aspects of the Rivera murals and African art at the DAI, Gerome Kamrowski at UM and his students like Pat Oleszko, writers & illustrators of the Ryans' circle publishing in Ann Arbor in the 1970s, and subsequent generations of artists and hypercreative highschool misfits.

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