Ryan Hay was born in metro-Detroit in 1985, and he began writing songs and poetry in his early teens. He received a B.A. in English from Michigan State University in 2007 and an M.A. in English from The University of Northern Colorado in 2011, during which time he composed several chapbooks of poetry and contributed piano to Frontier Ruckus.
Shortly after completing his M.A., Ryan was in a nearly fatal auto accident that rendered him unable to perform or identify as a musician, writer, and teacher for nearly two years. The impact of this creative impotency and loss of identity was profoundly negative. Thankfully, in 2014 Ryan was encouraged by his wife to begin painting, and the outcome provided a much needed counterweight and, ultimately, a way back to himself. By 2016, Ryan had completed over a hundred paintings, shown his work in several galleries, and was invited to join The House of Artists. Painting facilitated Ryan's recovery as well as his return to piano composition.
In the Spring of 2016, Ryan began to compose music again, and shortly thereafter he formed the artband PINK SKY with his wife, Angelica Hay. Pink Sky is currently playing shows in the Midwest, recording their first LP, and making collaborative artwork and video.
Ryan's visual work is inspired by the emotionality of abstract expressionism and the crisp aesthetic of minimalism, and it uses vibrant color and forms to comfort viewers while reminding them of the fragile, chaotic nature of existence. This effect is achieved through Ryan's use of mediums such as acrylics, polyurethane, and wood stains, and his wilingness to let chance play a significant role in his application process. The interplay between control and chance occurs in nearly all of Ryan's visual and musical work, which is informed as much by his history as a poet, teacher, and improvisational pianist as his experiences as a survivor and patient.
All images copyright Ryan Hay.