The fourth installment of Artists in Focus features Ryan Kelley, a Boston-based artist and business owner who transforms metal wire, wood, copper and stone into unique works of art. He has crafted nearly 300 pieces and has accumulated numerous accolades and awards along the way.
Metal wire trees are Kelley's specialty, which he creates by twisting together hundreds and thousand of wires until there's a finished piece. Armed with his highly-developed craftmanship and a charismatic personality, Ryan has successfully established Wire By Ryan, a thriving sculpture and design business located in Byfield, Massachusetts.
"I didn't go to school. I didn't take the normal life route. By not going to college, I learned by the school of Google, the school of my community, the school of asking questions."
How it all started
Ryan began dabbling with art during high school, which began his journey of being an entirely self-taught artist. He used it an outlet for negative feelings and emotions that he was experiencing.
"Looking back at it, art was a way for me to self-medicate," said Kelley. "I needed something in high school and out of high school to draw my attention inward and give me something to focus on. It helped me take that classic teen angst and spin it in a positive direction."
Initially, Ryan gave his creations to friend and families as gifts, but it soon became a whole lot more. Unlike many of his peers, following high school he decided to forego a four-year university and pursue a path in art.
"I didn't go to college. I didn't take the normal life route, " said Ryan. By not going to college, I learned by the school of Google, the school of my community, the school of asking questions."
While Ryan uses various materials and offers a variety of designs, his signature work are trees made from metal wire. The pieces are made custom for clients and often have a sentimental touch to them. The trees range from Bonsai-style to windblown and everything in between. Ryan has a special connection with trees and nature.
"Trees provide. They give shelter to animals and air for us to breathe, " said Ryan. We have a symbiotic relationship with them. They grow through and around any obstacle that stands in their way.
These trees have gone on to be featured in countless art shows, galleries and are now displayed in businesses and homes all over the world.
Future of Wire By Ryan
Kelley plans to keep growing his business and developing his craft. He also has a passion for teaching and sharing his knowledge with kids and the local art community. Plans for a new studio and a creative collaborative space in Byfield, MA is currently in the works.
"I want Wire By Ryan to continue helping other people," Ryan said. "I'm doing this to connect with fellow artists. It's a language that we can share and barter alongside other creative people, which allows all of us to truly grow and branch out."
"Everyone is an artist. Your vision makes you, YOU. We're all unique with stories to tell, and our voice deserves to be heard."
Check out the episode below: