Meet the artist: Ryan Stander

Current Hometown: Minot

Where can we see your work?

I show my work on a regular basis across the state and country, but you can see it anytime on my website: www.ryanstander.com or on Instagram at ryanstander.

Do you have work for sale?

Absolutely! Please contact me for prices.

In what media do you work?

The simple answer is that I am a photographer and printmaker. However, the more complex answer is that I tend to blur the lines between those fields and begin moving the two toward mixed media, book arts, sculpture, and occasionally installation.

How would you describe your style?

It depends on the intent of the idea and which medium I choose. At times I am enamored by the simple

beauty of a shadow, which puts me in a camp of modern formalism. Other times, I am drawn to the banality and deadpan approach of much contemporary photography. In almost all regards, my work is quiet and reflective.

Who would you say have been influences on your work?

Many people and things shape my creative world, from my mentors and professors, schools of thought and practice, and even my own students. As a photographer, I am influenced by the legacy of the New Topographics – a group of landscape photographers who flipped the genre on its head in the ’60s and ’70s by turning their lenses from the idealized landscapes of Ansel Adams to instead explore how cultural priorities shaped the shape of the land.

Are there particular themes you like to explore in your work?

I work out of my educational backgrounds in art and theology. Often themes of memory, place, material culture, and religion come up in my work. Many of the questions I explore were formed during my theological studies, which fostered a wonderful kind of base to work from.

What do you most enjoy about the creative process?

Each part of the creative process is remarkable. I am amazed at how creative ideas coalesce – sometimes unexpectedly in the middle of church and sometimes after months of hard work and research. But like most artists, the greatest joy is in the physical making. Even a frustrating and fruitless day in the studio is still better than most days.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Originally from the rich farmlands of northwest Iowa, I am a transplant to North Dakota. My studies brought me north [MFA from the University of North Dakota, MA in Theology from Sioux Falls Seminary (SD), and a BA in Art from Northwestern College (IA)]. After 4 years in Grand Forks, my wife and I moved to Minot where I now serve as an Associate Professor of Art at Minot State University. I teach photography, direct the BFA program, and co-direct Flat Tail Press. My wife Karina and I are kept busy by two young boys Willem and Mathis and other creative endeavors.

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