Ryan Akers

Ryan Akers

Graduate Teaching Assistant


Ryan Akers is a graduate student in painting with an assistantship. He received his BA from The University of Alabama in 2020 with a degree from New College in Interdisciplinary Studies (Literature, Art, and Society). His painting, Penteco$t, was selected for the Director’s Award in the biennial 44th Montgomery Art Guild Museum Exhibition (2021). Akers organized and curated the online exhibition What You Unlearn. He was awarded the Levitetz Scholarship by UA’s New College in 2020. He has had exhibitions at Austin Community College Highland campus in Austin, Texas.

Artist statement: I use the process of automatic drawing to create my own iconography; a type of self-mythologizing that is equal parts release and atonement. By reflecting the malaise of cultural and sexual violence enacted upon me while coming of age in a religious community in small-town Alabama, as well as my own transgressions, my hope is that my work vilifies all violence and in turn coerces the viewer into creating future imaginaries that subvert all systemic forms of discrimination. Read more.