New show opens at the Gallery on High exploring anxiety disorders through Art.

Gallery School of Pottstown @ Gallery on High ** 254 E High St., Pottstown  **  610-326-2506

By order of an inner driving force, something he cannot fight, Dennis Ryan is a conceptual fine artist. He paints, draws and prints about psychological disorders (i.e. anxiety, phobias, depression, mainly focused on OCD — obsessive compulsive disorder).

Why paint about these mental disorders? The artist is raising awareness about how debilitating mental illness can be and because he finds them profoundly interesting! Don’t you? For the mind controls every aspect of our bodies and without healthy minds… we are a bit screwed.

As an up and coming fine artist, Dennis creates his fine art in a studio that’s located in the land where the Amish buggies roll. He finds plenty of inspiration to create art and paint from the cow filled, countryside pastures on the western outskirts of Philadelphia, PA.

He grew up on the south side of Easton, Pennsylvania. His art skills noticeably started to develop in his early childhood years. He moved away from his hometown his freshman year in high school, and with that move, consequently lost a good many of his lifelong friendships. In solitude, his focus turned central to art.

At age 18 he entered the military. Ryan chose this nontraditional path for an artist to help right his life’s direction, and to get money for secondary education through the GI Bill. While in the Navy, even though his drill sergeants and Chief Petty Officers tried to strip his individuality, Ryan continued to express himself and create artwork at every opportunity. In boot camp, he was chosen to paint the company flag, and then also to paint a wall mural in the Naval Hospital on base. Once on the ship, he even graffiti stenciled his job symbol — of a Gunner Mate Missile Tech — onto the back of his military uniform jacket, surprisingly without consequence.

After the military, he went on to fine art studies from PCA&D (Pennsylvania College of Art & Design) in downtown Lancaster, PA, and then on to Millersville University in Millersville, PA where he completed his bachelor’s degree in the arts with honors. He now resides in a county on the outer edge of Philly. This home base affords easy striking distance to many art galleries in central Philadelphia and Lancaster, Pa.

Dennis is creative by nature and has a passion for drawing, printmaking and painting. With artworks on permanent display in Great Lakes, IL, Easton, PA, and Newport, RI, he approaches the creation of his art with a focus on line, shape and color. The art’s concept is vital to his work… after all he is a conceptual artist. He likes to experiment with how line can define itself in the form of the written word, like a signature, and also how the same line can encapsulate and create form. Silhouettes are a recurring theme in Ryan’s fine art as he enjoys their presence and ambiguity.

Conceptual fine artist Dennis Ryan, with painting titled Sensational, outside his studio in Philadelphia, PA.

The Gallery on High is proud to announce our new exhibit “A Journey Through Anxiety,”  running from March 26th through April 23rd.  There will be no opening reception, as the Gallery and the artist feel that this is a show to be experienced by everyone in a personal way.  The Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 – 4:30 and Saturdays from 10 – 3.  We encourage schools and groups in the Greater Pottstown area to take advantage of this exceptional exhibit by arranging a tour of the show.  Please email cathy@galleryonhigh.com if interested in group outings.  There will also be a small exhibit running concurrently with “A Journey Through Anxiety” that will display the artwork of several people who took part in a workshop directed by Dennis with the help of Erika Hornburg-Cooper, executive director of the Gallery School and also education director.  These people have been clinically diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and have found the workshop to be a helpful tool in understanding what they experience on a daily basis.  The workshop was held in partnership with Creative Health Services in Pottstown.

Cathy Paretti

Gallery School of Pottstown