Ryan Elizabeth Feddersen, (b.1984) Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (Okanogan / Arrow Lakes) is a mixed media installation artist residing in Seattle, WA. In May 09’ she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cornish College of the Arts. Graduating Magna Cum Laude with concentrations in painting, print art, drawing and sculpture. Ryan’s work is characterized by a sense of exploration and experimentation. Her work utilizes tongue in cheek humor accompanied by interactivity to invite the viewer to engage with the irrationalities and hypocrisies of contemporary American culture. Ryan has created several large-scale interactive installations including pieces for the Tacoma Art Museum, Spokane Arts, Bumbershoot, and the Henry Gala. Recent exhibitions include, Not Vanishing, Contemporary Expressions in Indigenous Art 1977-2015, Museum of Northwest Art; Disconnected Towers, Seattle Present’s Gallery; and Terrain: Plateau Native Art & Poetry, Missoula Art Museum. Ryan has been awarded residency opportunities designed to bring Native artists together and support their work, such as Emerging Indigenous Voices, Kua’ainaa Association in San Francisco, CA and the American Indian Artist Residency at the Montana Artist Refuge.
In my art practice I have primarily focused on creating interactive works that invite the viewer to engage intellectually and creatively. When I plan a project, I am interested in investigating ways of creating content through the intrinsic or connotative properties of materials paired with imagery and action. I draw on indigenous traditions of performance, communal / experiential practice, and civic functionality. I see art as a way that we get to know the world around us, and how we orient ourselves within our culture and society. I find this to be especially true of art making and the creative process. When I dedicate my creative energy to a project, it becomes a meditation on the subject. I walk away not only knowing more about the subject, but with a more contextual understanding of my relationship to it and how my ideas around it have been constructed. Producing interactive works provides a similar experience to the audience where participants are able to personally investigate the irrationalities and hypocrisies of contemporary American culture. By pairing superficially light-hearted activities with underlying challenges to the status quo, the participants are enabled to have a non-threatening experience that invites personal introspection.