Stephanie J. Ryan
“To keep silent too long is like letting water stagnate so that it rots.”
--AUGUST STRINDBERG, The Ghost Sonata
I am interested in the stories that families tell themselves and present to others about their identity as a group; and in the contrast between the public and the private face of the family. I find the tradition of family storytelling when groups gather (during the holidays especially) to be endlessly fascinating. How do memories of events change over time, from the viewpoint of the Storyteller and the Individual? How does the telling of the story change depending upon the listener or variations in perception? How many secrets are discovered as the children of the family grow to adulthood and as their roles shift, and what is changed in the transference of these stories to the next generation? I believe that these issues are in continual flux, as memory demonstrates over and again its mercurial nature, and as one's perception of oneself and one’s perception of outer events, change inevitably over time.
These paintings depict narratives whose imagery is derived from family photographs of holidays and special events (when the stories were created or marked), interwoven with elements appropriated images from popular culture, religion, books on etiquette, and alchemy that are meant to disrupt the main narrative by suggesting gaps in memory and perception. While the images have their origin in my own fluid family history, my intent is to represent any family whose history contains issues left unaddressed, questions, and/or secrets left untold for whatever reason.
Like a child playing with a doll’s house, I have the power to rearrange things, to alter the figures slightly, move them around the space; to add or subtract information, as a way of dialoguing with the past and perhaps dispelling the ghosts of the past by allowing them to speak once more.
 NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Plays by August Strindberg, vol. 4. Trans. Edwin Björkman. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1916.
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2012 Family Gathering, Corridor 2122, Fresno, CA.
2010 From the Hinterlands, Fresno City College Art Space Gallery, Fresno, CA.
2009 Stephanie Ryan, Arts Visalia Gallery, Visalia, CA.
2007 Numinosum, Gallery 25, Fresno, CA.
Selected GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2014 A Single Grain of Rice International Juried Exhibition, Galerie Métanoia, Paris, France.
Draw, Drawing, Drawn National Juried Exhibition (juror Leah Ollman), Vita Art Center, Ventura, CA.
Home Juried Group Exhibition, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA) and the Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association (VAALA), Santa Ana, CA.
2013 Spectacle Invitational Exhibition, M Street Art Complex, Fresno, CA.
Breath of Spring (juror: George Rivera, Senior Curator of the Triton Museum of Art), national competition & exhibition, Pacific Art League Main Gallery, Palo Alto,
2012 Figures & Faces (juror: Hung Liu), national competition & exhibition, Pacific Art League Main Gallery, Palo Alto, CA.
Interpretations of the Portrait (exhibiting as juror), Arts Visalia Art Center, Visalia, CA.
2007 Armenian Exchange; Gallery 25, Fresno, CA and Gallery 25, Gyumri, Armenia.
California Prints: An Invitational Exhibition, Arts Visalia Gallery, Visalia, CA.
2006 California State University System Print Invitational. Janet Turner Print Museum, Chico, CA.
2005 Gallery 25 Group Exhibition. Gallery 25, Fresno, CA.
Gallery 25 Group Drawing Exhibition. Gallery 25, Fresno, CA.
The Edge of Drawing Juried Exhibition, Conley Gallery, CSUF.
Three Portfolios Exhibition: Beat for Jesus, Domestic Policy & Women’s Self Image, National Print Exchange Portfolios Exhibition, Conley Gallery, California State University-Fresno.
Women’s Self Image Exhibition, Talley Gallery, Bemidji State University, Bemidji, MN.
Beat for Jesus Exchange/Exhibition, National Print Exchange Traveling Portfolio Exhibition: Corcoran College of Art and Design, Washington, D.C., W.H. Over Museum, Vermillion, SD, University of Louisiana Museum, Lafayette, LA.
2004 Gallery 25 30th Anniversary Exhibition, Gallery 25. Fresno, CA.
2003 The San Joaquin River Parkway Invitational Exhibition, Fresno Art Museum. Fresno,
Gallery 25 Members Exhibition, Gallery 25, Fresno, CA.
2002 The Mound Project—Stephanie Ryan and Anne Scheid, Gallery 25, Fresno, CA.
Next Wave II: Fresno Artists of the New Era (Decennial Invitational Exhibition), Fresno Art Museum. Fresno, CA.