Biography of Nick Ryan

bronze buffalo

Born in Chicago, in 1936, the last of four children, Nick Ryan was raised in the rural lake country of northeastern Illinois. He has resided in Utah since the mid-1960s. He is married and has ten children.

Though raised in a family with considerable art interest and training, Nick did not receive any formal art educational until late middle age. However, he was the recipient of much “second-hand “education at the feet of two sisters well trained in the field. Somehow, around age six, he was given modeling clay and that made all the difference . . . though it took a few decades to come to light.

Nick completed a teaching minor in Fine Arts. He graduated with a BA in 1969 from Brigham Young University and an MA from the same school in 1972. He taught art in eighteen of a twenty-eight year teaching career.

Wildlife themes have generally dominated the scope of his bronze expressions. Nick also completed a significant body of human figurative pieces, most notably children. The most significant aspect of his work has been strength of composition. While sufficient detail and realism are found in most of his sculptures, he has periodically departed into subdued texture and striking abstract forms. He has preferred not to label or limit himself to one style, but rather he has wanted to be able to respond to whichever approach seemed dictated by the subject and the feeling it evoked in him. The scale of his work has ranged from miniature to larger than life size.

Nick’s work has found representation in a number of galleries but he has greatly enjoyed personal contacts made in over a hundred art shows, large and small, around the country. “While sales validate my efforts, these interactions are wealth in themselves,” says Ryan.

Nick resides with his wife, Mary, in Saratoga Springs, Utah. He continues to sculpt on commissions and paint in his studio there.