✓ Regionally-recognised art training
✓ Notable exhibition feature
Through the unflinching medium of spray paint stencilling, the work of Ryan Murray unearths and examines the unsettling, but important, conversations on the stigma of mental illness. Murray aims to normalise the discussion and treatment of mental health in black communities. "To examine Black mental health," he says, "is to examine the effect of events in both the past and present, socioeconomic factors, how patterns of suffering repeat themselves, and the burden of certain societal expectations."
By utilising repeated symbolism and autobiographical elements, his work not only seeks to address the reality and the reasons that people of colour suffer in silence more than their white counterparts, but urges him to navigate his own upbringing as an African-American struggling with mental illness in predominantly white community.
Murray has exhibited in numerous galleries and shows in western Massachusetts and has installed several murals in the city of Springfield, dealing with themes of food justice, community action, and Springfield's past as a stop on the Underground Railroad. He is a recipient of grants from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Artist Relief and Mass MoCA's Assets 4 Artists. Murray received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University in 2014 and is currently located in Springfield, Massachusetts.