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Oil, 2013, 80" x 50"

A return to the nostalgic, an American legacy, is pervasive in post-modern America’s search for identity. Clashing myth with reality, confronts the fear and denial permeating our belief system.

In my paintings I explore imagined interiors that play with appropriated images and children’s drawing. Memories of innocence interact with the paraphernalia of war. There is an implied freedom in the scribbles that spill off taped up papers onto happy wallpaper designed with tanks and guns. Harsh truths of an imperfect present loom in the violent content of the drawings. My exteriors, perfect childhood reminiscences, presented with props of modern day war, deliberately distort our idealized vision of the past. The process questions visually, our manufactured desire for a fictitious past while revealing the complexity of our cultural identity and actual heritage.

There is a benign nature in all that is familiar. This apposition aims to confront a culture’s selective memory, while asking the viewer to relinquish the mythologies of the past and to question the façade that masks the twenty-first century.



Joan Ryan

2013 RUINLUST, Soho 20 Gallery, Chelsea, NY
2012 Grant Recipients Exhibition, Provincetown Museum and
Art Association, Provincetown, MA
2011 Open Studio, DADA Post, Berlin, Germany
2010 What We forgot To Remember, A.I.R. Gallery,
Brooklyn, NY
2010 Truth, Orseman Gallery, Smith College,
Brown Fine Art Center, Northampton, MA
2009 Gazing Within, John Joseph Moakley Courthouse
Boston, MA
2008 Rent Drawings Johnson Gallery
Beverly Farms, MA
2007 King, Cambridge Multicultural Center
Cambridge, MA
2004 Identity and the Human Figure, APE Gallery
Northampton, MA
2003 Reflections of Gender, Porter Street Gallery
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, N. Adams, MA
2002 Drawings 2002
Sacramento Street Gallery, Cambridge, MA
2002 Recent Drawings
Contemporary Artists Center, North Adams, MA
1994 Recent Drawings
Soho 20 Invitational Space, New York, NY
1994 Renovare
Bradford College, Bradford, MA
1989 Transitory Images and Reflections
Nancy Lincoln Gallery, Chestnut Hill, MA


2013 Cock and Bull, Kit Schulte Gallery, Berlin, Germany
2013 4th Annual Contemporary Drawing, University of North Carolina, Juror: Susan Hauptman
2011 7th Annual Human Rights Exhibition, South Texas College
2011 Global Perspectives, Worcester State College
2011 "A Women's Work Is Never Done" A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY Juror: Barbara O'Brien
2010 “…And Sweeps Me Away” A.I. R. , Brooklyn NY juror: Barbara O’Brien
2009 “Does Gender Matter” Art Intstitute of Boston, Juror: Barbara O'Brien
Contemporary Humanism A.I.R. Gallery, juror:Aranda-Alvarado
Power, Corruption and Lies, Apollonaire Gallery, Chelsea, MA
2008 “Blue” Cambridge Art Ass. Cambridge MA
Juror: Jen Mergel, Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
Your Documents Please, Traveling exhibition curated by
Daniel Georges and Rumiko
2008 “A Politic 2008” Gallery XIV, Boston, MA
“Structured Incidents” National Members Exhibition
A.I.R. Gallery, NYC, juror: Charlotta Kiotik
“4th Annual National Exhibition” Palm Beach Community
Lake Worth, Fla.
27th Annual Faber Birren National Color Award
Stamford Art Association, Juror: Gary Carrion-Murayari,
Assistant Curator/Whitney Museum, NYC
2007 Connections, Juror: Donald Kuspit, New Jersey Center
For Visual Arts, Montclair, NJ
2006 Vital Voices, Brandise university, Waltham MA
Juror: Raphaela Platow, curator, Rose Art Museum
2005 New Media, Gallery International, Baltimore, MD
2005 Weaving of the Senses, Caladan Gallery, Beverly MA.
2005 Close To Home, Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven Ct.
Juror: Jacquelyn Days, chief curator of the Corcoran Gallery
Of Art, Washington, DC
2004 STAC 29th Annual Juried Exhibition, St. James, New York
Juror: Donald Kuspit
27th Annual Art on Paper Juror: Linda Simmons, Curator, Print and Drawings, Corcoran Museum
2003 Figurative Works 02î
Armory Art Center, West Palm Beach, FL
Juror: Olga Viso, Curator, Hirshorn Museum, Washington, DC
2002 4th Annual Face to Face International Exhibition
Stage Gallery, Massapequa, NY
2002 Realism, International Exhibition
Stage Gallery, Massapequa, NY
2001 Drawing II International Exhibition Period Gallery, Omaha, NE
2001 Realism III, International Juried Art Exhibition
Gallery, Omaha, Ne
2001 National Exhibition, Artemisia Gallery, Chicago
in conjunction with WCA 2001 National Conference
Juror: Ingrid Fassbender/Fassbender Gallery, Chicago
2000 Hallowed Grounds
New England Artist at the International Society, Boston, MA
2000 Group Show
Cornell Museum of Fine Art, Del Ray, FL
1999 Explicit, Kougeas Gallery, Boston, MA
1999 Art on the Mountain, Wilmington, VT
Juror: Ian Berry, Curator, Williams College Museum of Art
1999 Art of the Northeast
Silvermine Guild Arts Center, New Canaan, CT
Juror: Allen Stone, Allen Stone Gallery, New York, NY
1999 Transformations
Center for the Arts in Natick, Natick, MA
1999 Convergence
Wilmington Arts Center, Wilmington, VT
Juror: Rachel Rosenfield Lafo,
Senior Curator, DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA
1998 Wood Memorial Biennial, South Windsor, CT
Juror: Susan Cross, Curator, Solomon Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Milford, CT
2013 40th Anniversary Invitational First Place, Soho 20 Juror: Paddy Johnson
2013 Northampton Arts Council, Mural Restoration Grant, Northampton MA
2011 Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed National Grant, PAAM, Jurors: William Stover, Miilena Kalinovska, Patricia Hickson
2008 Second Place, Cambridge Art Ass. National Juried Exhibition
2005 Pufffin Foundation Grant
2005 Academic Technology Grant, Lesley University
2005 George Sugarman Foundation Grant
1999 Mural Grant, Governors Council on Sports and Fitness,
1998 Arts Lottery Grant, MCA, Lexington, MA