100 Dallas Creatives: No. 86 Collaborative Artist Ryder Richards

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Mixmaster presents "100 Creatives," in which we feature cultural entrepreneurs of Dallas in random order. Know an artistic mind who deserves a little bit of blog love? Email lauren.smart@dallasobserver.com with the whos and whys.

Ryder Richards. It's a name made for the arts. And Richards delivers. He is an artist, a writer, a curator, and an educator.

It all began in Roswell, New Mexico, where as a kid, Richards would sketch out battle scenes, progressing to love notes for the ladies in middle school, then to drawing Bob Dylan while reading philosophy in college. Eventually that brought him to North Texas, where he earned a MFA in Painting from Texas Christian University and a Visiting Scholar position in Art at Eastfield College.

Richards earned quite a bit of attention during his time as Gallery Coordinator for Richland College in Dallas where he challenged the status quo of college art spaces, turning it into a more experimental space. Now he's focused on his art, working both solo and in collaboration with artists and collectives. It's not often that an artist finds time to participate in both his own creative pursuits and further the creative output of other artists, as an educator, a critic and a curator, but Richards finds time for it all.

Describe your aesthetic in five words.

Clean, smart, beautiful. Contextually-contingent? Sesquipedalian?

Why do you do what you do?

I would love to say for "the money," but I think it has something to do with observing the world and turning ideas into visual conversations...It just so happens that I do this through physical objects.

What in your daily life inspires you?

Corny answer, but true: My wife's love.

What's your contribution to the Dallas arts scene?

Consuming beer at art openings. In between openings, I ran the Richland College Gallery for three years and I helped form The Art Foundation. I have also written reviews for D Magazine Front Row, Glasstire, and Eutopia [he is the Founder and Editor], as well as participating in local shows, like the Dallas Biennial 2014.

What brought you to Dallas and what is keeping you here?

A job, and now, a vested interest.

What is something that Dallas doesn't know about you?

I once got hit so hard playing football it knocked me back to middle school. The funny thing was I could still remember my locker combination and thought Ronald Reagan was President. That night, I went to a volleyball game where I was told that I repeatedly asked people if they knew I had a concussion. By the way, did I tell you about the time I got hit so hard I was knocked back to middle school?

What's one art trend you want to see die this year?

James Franco.

A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What do you do?

Become a mystery patron, after I build a huge studio, and, a Bat Cave.

100 Creatives: 100. Theater Mastermind Matt Posey 99. Comedy Queen Amanda Austin 98. Deep Ellum Enterpriser Brandon Castillo 97. Humanitarian Artist Willie Baronet 96. Funny Man Paul Varghese 95. Painting Provocateur Art Peña 94. Magic Man Trigg Watson 93. Enigmatic Musician George Quartz 92. Artistic Luminary Joshua King 91. Inventive Director Rene Moreno 90. Color Mavens Marianne Newsom and Sunny Sliger 89. Literary Lion Thea Temple 88. Movie Maestro Eric Steele 87. Storytelling Dynamo Nicole Stewart

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