Office Location: Humanities Room 113 after class
James Michael Ryan studied at Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia. He studied painting and art history in Rome while enrolled at Temple. After receiving a Master of Education in Art degree at Temple, James attended West Chester University of Pennsylvania where he was awarded a Master of Arts degree in History. Since graduate school, James has taught at several schools in the Philadelphia area and had taught both art and history on the Eastern Shore for the past decade at Chesapeake College and Cambridge-South Dorchester High School. Since moving to Maryland, James has painted several murals in Cambridge and Easton and has done numerous commissioned works for local collectors. James and his family live in Historic Easton and he belongs to several organizations including the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. The rich history and quiet beauty of the Eastern Shore have provided James with an extensive source of inspiration for his artistic pursuits. James is also currently writing a book about a young man growing up in this region in the late 1950s.
“I have always combined my love for history and regional character in my art. Connecting with the people who came before us and the world of the present has been an integral part of my work. I draw inspiration from cultural artifacts and especially from the deep roots of the people and traditions of this area. I have been profoundly influenced by the way of life and the close connections to the natural elements here on the shore. My immediate family connections with both rural Canada and the west of Ireland have combined to make the Eastern Shore a natural habitat for me as an artist, educator, and father of two boys. Hunting and fishing have become important components in our life here; bringing us back to our rural heritage as a family. Most of my paintings are populated by figures either directly or indirectly influenced by people who have touched my life. A lonely beach, derelict workboat, rusted truck, or abandoned homestead speak to me of the marooned pirate, endangered waterman, unemployed worker or farmer who pulled up stakes for sunny Florida. Every picture tells a story; and we are all stitched together by the beautiful sun-browned hand of our collective past.” James Michael Ryan