Ryan Stander is a photographer and printmaker based in North Dakota. His Master's degree in theology and philosophical background often serves as the springboard for his work.
What was your first experience of printmaking?
My first year of undergraduate courses, I took my first class in printmaking. If my memory serves me correctly, we covered linoleum, woodcut and intaglio. There was something about the process of printmaking that I loved...and still do to this day.
What inspires you as an artist?
Between my art degrees, I took a Master's degree in theology. This offered a remarkable philosophical background that often serves as the springboard for my work. It set up a whole new series of problems, questions and ideas that reoriented my work to issues of place, memory, and ethics.
What are you working on at present?
I just completed a large project (5 print suite) for the University where I work, commemorating this, their centennial year. I am now transitioning back to several projects in both photography and printmaking. In photo, I am part of a research team documenting effects the oil boom in our state. In printmaking, I'm in the planning stages of several large mixed media and lithograph pieces for a show in Boston next fall.
What is special about printmaking?
I entered grad school as a photographer, but after too many hours editing in Photoshop, I was longing for something more physical. I returned to the printmaking studio for the first time in 14 years; sore arms and back from cranking the press, aching feet from hours of standing. It was wonderful.
What is your favourite printmaking process, and why?
I work primarily with polyester plate lithography (Pronto plates). I love the versatility being able to work directly on the plate or to design and do layout in Photoshop, print the plate with a laser printer, and roll it up. It works well for the photographic nature of my work.
What prompted you to take part in the International Print Exchange?
I try to do several exchanges every year and advocate them to my students. Not only are they nice little lines on ones resume or C.V., you get artwork from artists around the world. They are great opportunities to experiment with new processes, network with other artists, and see what others are doing. In particular, I was excited about the international opportunity with IPE.
What is your favourite colour?
Right now I'd have to say something in the grey family.
What is your favourite paper and ink?
Paper that's easy - Sekishu. Ink - I typically use Graphic Chemical
What kind of music do you listen to whilst printmaking?
Everything from Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk to Avett Brothers, Over the Rhine, Neko Case, and on occasion even Daft Punk.
Who is your favourite printmaker?
That is a hard question! Two stand out: John Kaericher and Kim Fink. Both have been my instructors (John in my undergrad and Kim in graduate school). John was a student of Mauricio Lasansky at the University of Iowa and carries vestiges of his remarkable style and vision. Additionally, I am always amazed by Kim's versatility and expansive repertoire of processes employed in his work.