Ryan Noble The arts and healing have been unified forces throughout most of recorded civilization. From the ancient shamans to the catholic saints and vodun priests, study of the healing art traditions indicate that our most revered figures typically fuse all that is sacred with an aesthetic sensibility and rituals to the benefit of healing and social well-being. Similarly, my own development as an artist has coursed seamlessly through figurative sculpture, performance art, social services and art therapy; resulting in a fusion that equips me to reacquaint people with the most fundamental aspects of human experience.
As one of the most essential cross-cultural phenomenon, the arts are a multilingual system of communication—as diverse as the personalities, experiences, and abilities of any given artist. In that sense, integrating a diverse vocabulary of media and skills is of critical importance to collaborative projects and equally important in connecting art professionals and casual viewers, alike. Being accomplished in a range of media allows me to navigate my own process and to be humbled and inspired by the diversity around me.
The interplay of physical and emotional subjectivities leads me to recall moments in the studio, studying the forms of a live model. My efforts to translate this individual into a clay form or a painting was often enhanced by the model's own personality and stories. This model's—this person's—detailed experiences were never disclosed in my interpretations explicitly, but in the more resonant of these interactions, I did observe that the final work was much more evocative of the human condition. In an effort to develop this praxis and align these concepts with a contemporary audience, I eventually came to explore performance art. Despite many of my own reservations, this medium allowed me to express all that I had attempted through sculpture, but now—rather than appropriating the vulnerabilities of another person—could be more directly explored and conveyed through my own humanity.
This passion for exploring the exchange of human experience led to earning my Master of Arts in Art Therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As an art therapy intern, I served people with psychiatric conditions, behavioral needs, and assisted them through their addictions recovery. Through rigorous clinical training I provided the resources of imagination, inspiration, and interpersonal skills to those who usually had limited access to the art world.
Now, my abilities to engage with art as a means for personal insight and an agent for social change are consistently evident through art therapy lectures, performances, and exhibitions. Collectively, these projects highlight revelations that are made through art of the 20th century and it is my hope that a renewed evaluation of contemporaneous art practices—in its diversity of forms—may provide insights into complexities of personal, social and political realities. My dedication to art in all contexts—from the gallery and the studio, to the clinics and lecture halls—is a service to others, guiding people in forming perspectives of the potential for art in their own lives.