Ryan Thompson

Associate Professor of Art & Design; Department Chair

Education

M.F.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, 2009
B.F.A., Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2003

Associated Academic Programs

Art & Design

“As an artist and educator, I continually seek out ways to promote renewal in the world, both in my personal practice and in my interactions with students. My ultimate goal as an instructor is to mentor students in critical thinking and to help them develop and grow in their thirst for knowledge, truth, and redemption. “

Thompson’s world view is based on the understanding that the world is broken, complicated by humanity’s sin. He takes seriously his responsibility as a Christian to promote renewal in work and life, bear witness to God’s grace, and encourage the exploration of belief, knowledge, and the physical world.

“I was drawn to the field of art and design because I believe so strongly in its transformative abilities—to change perceptions, reveal greater truths, unite minds, and inspire joy,” said Thompson. “I strive, in my personal practice, to create spaces for grace, restoration, and redemption. I encourage students to view their discipline in a similar way and to engage in the active transformation of our world.”

Scholarship and art isn’t all about transformation, though, says Thompson. It is also about exploration and engagement.

“Art is interactive and provides many opportunities for its participants to engage in conversation, discussion, and learning,” he said. “Through these interactions, we learn from each other how better to care for our world and one another.”

Thompson has demonstrated his world view in his own intentionally varied educational background. Diversity and understanding diversity are a large part of successful engagement with art and the world.

“As an artist and as a Christian, I am called to make diversity central to my educational objectives. I strongly believe that the more diversified we are as a body of believers, the more we can learn from each person’s unique strengths, work together through our weaknesses, and worship God in unity for his love and grace.”

Follow Dr. Thompson’s blog.   The home for all art, projects, images and photographs by Ryan Thompson and the Department of Natural History.

Courses Taught

2D Design
Advanced Topics
Advanced Topics in Photography
Art & Architecture of Europe (Travel Course)
Drawing I

Introduction & Intermediate Sculpture
Introduction to Digital Media
Introduction to Photography
Introduction to Web Communication

Selected Exhibitions

Crossroads: A Shifting Landscape, Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ, 2012
Collections, FICTILIS, Seattle, WA, 2012

NIGHT SKY, Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL, 2012

Dark Flight, DIG, Chicago, IL (solo exhibition), 2011

A Live Animal, Root Division, San Francisco, CA, 2011

Carte Blanche, Galerie Analix Forever, Geneva, Switzerland, 2010

Smoke and Mirrors, Lightwell Gallery, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, 2010

The Night of 1001 Videos, Galerie Analix Forever, Geneva, Switzerland, 2010

PUBLIC THINGS, Galerie Analix Forever, Geneva, Switzerland, 2010

DIRT: LAND/USE, Links Hall, Chicago, IL, 2010

re:form, Dordt College, Sioux Center, IA, 2010

dis.place.ment, UICA, Grand Rapids, MI, 2010

The GIF Economy, Tractor Gallery, Portland, OR, 2009

Fieldwork, iSpace, Chicago, IL, 2009

New Insight, Next Art Fair at Art Chicago (curated by Susanne Ghez), 2009

Something About Nothing, Kuhn Fine Arts Gallery, Ohio State University at Marion, 2009

School Of Art and Design MFA 09, Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana

Champaign, 2009

Large Systems…Local Resources, Garage & Garden, Champaign, IL (two-person show), 2008

Big Ten, Big Ten Conference Center, Park Ridge, IL, 2008

Other Options (traveling exhibition), Eyebeam (New York, NY); Redhouse Art Center (Syracuse,

NY); Goods & Services (Pittsburgh, PA); 106 (Grand Rapids, MI), 2008

Other Options, Alogon Gallery, Chicago, IL, 2007

Why Can’t We All Be A Family?, Armory Free Theater, University of Illinois at Urbana

Champaign, 2007

Birthday Suit, Opensource, Champaign, IL, 2006

2005 Mind in Matter: Constructions of the Built Environment, Opensource, Champaign, IL (Juried), 2005

Mini Movie Festival (traveling exhibition), Correspondence Space (Portland, OR); Department of

Safety (Anacortes, WA); Messhall (Chicago, IL); Division Avenue Arts Cooperative (Grand

Rapids, MI), 2005

*Potential Energy (traveling exhibition), Harrison Center for the Arts (Indianapolis, IN); Messhall (Chicago, IL); Correspondence Space (Portland, OR), 2005

Gluttony, Satellite Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI, 2005

+ Expertise

Thompson’s world view is based on the understanding that the world is broken, complicated by humanity’s sin. He takes seriously his responsibility as a Christian to promote renewal in work and life, bear witness to God’s grace, and encourage the exploration of belief, knowledge, and the physical world.

“I was drawn to the field of art and design because I believe so strongly in its transformative abilities—to change perceptions, reveal greater truths, unite minds, and inspire joy,” said Thompson. “I strive, in my personal practice, to create spaces for grace, restoration, and redemption. I encourage students to view their discipline in a similar way and to engage in the active transformation of our world.”

Scholarship and art isn’t all about transformation, though, says Thompson. It is also about exploration and engagement.

“Art is interactive and provides many opportunities for its participants to engage in conversation, discussion, and learning,” he said. “Through these interactions, we learn from each other how better to care for our world and one another.”

Thompson has demonstrated his world view in his own intentionally varied educational background. Diversity and understanding diversity are a large part of successful engagement with art and the world.

“As an artist and as a Christian, I am called to make diversity central to my educational objectives. I strongly believe that the more diversified we are as a body of believers, the more we can learn from each person’s unique strengths, work together through our weaknesses, and worship God in unity for his love and grace.”

+ Courses, Publications & Research

Follow Dr. Thompson’s blog.   The home for all art, projects, images and photographs by Ryan Thompson and the Department of Natural History.

Courses Taught

2D Design
Advanced Topics
Advanced Topics in Photography
Art & Architecture of Europe (Travel Course)
Drawing I

Introduction & Intermediate Sculpture
Introduction to Digital Media
Introduction to Photography
Introduction to Web Communication

Selected Exhibitions

Crossroads: A Shifting Landscape, Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ, 2012
Collections, FICTILIS, Seattle, WA, 2012

NIGHT SKY, Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL, 2012

Dark Flight, DIG, Chicago, IL (solo exhibition), 2011

A Live Animal, Root Division, San Francisco, CA, 2011

Carte Blanche, Galerie Analix Forever, Geneva, Switzerland, 2010

Smoke and Mirrors, Lightwell Gallery, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, 2010

The Night of 1001 Videos, Galerie Analix Forever, Geneva, Switzerland, 2010

PUBLIC THINGS, Galerie Analix Forever, Geneva, Switzerland, 2010

DIRT: LAND/USE, Links Hall, Chicago, IL, 2010

re:form, Dordt College, Sioux Center, IA, 2010

dis.place.ment, UICA, Grand Rapids, MI, 2010

The GIF Economy, Tractor Gallery, Portland, OR, 2009

Fieldwork, iSpace, Chicago, IL, 2009

New Insight, Next Art Fair at Art Chicago (curated by Susanne Ghez), 2009

Something About Nothing, Kuhn Fine Arts Gallery, Ohio State University at Marion, 2009

School Of Art and Design MFA 09, Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana

Champaign, 2009

Large Systems…Local Resources, Garage & Garden, Champaign, IL (two-person show), 2008

Big Ten, Big Ten Conference Center, Park Ridge, IL, 2008

Other Options (traveling exhibition), Eyebeam (New York, NY); Redhouse Art Center (Syracuse,

NY); Goods & Services (Pittsburgh, PA); 106 (Grand Rapids, MI), 2008

Other Options, Alogon Gallery, Chicago, IL, 2007

Why Can’t We All Be A Family?, Armory Free Theater, University of Illinois at Urbana

Champaign, 2007

Birthday Suit, Opensource, Champaign, IL, 2006

2005 Mind in Matter: Constructions of the Built Environment, Opensource, Champaign, IL (Juried), 2005

Mini Movie Festival (traveling exhibition), Correspondence Space (Portland, OR); Department of

Safety (Anacortes, WA); Messhall (Chicago, IL); Division Avenue Arts Cooperative (Grand

Rapids, MI), 2005

*Potential Energy (traveling exhibition), Harrison Center for the Arts (Indianapolis, IN); Messhall (Chicago, IL); Correspondence Space (Portland, OR), 2005

Gluttony, Satellite Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI, 2005