by KELLEY GUSICH | photos by Alicia Jeanne Photography

Paint Over It 

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Ryan Fryant grew up in Leucadia when it was mostly empty fields and sea shacks. A childhood on the beach there progressed to a young adulthood spent mostly in Mexico, enjoying street food, art, and music. Around that time, he met his wife Heather, an art student who sparked and nourished the artist hidden in Ryan. “I have a lovely wife who I adore,” he explained. “She is my collaborator and best friend.” Ryan and Heather had a shared desire to make something fun and artist_fryant3whimsical out of previously discarded objects. They began to collect old, half-finished canvases, paints that were almost dried out, and brushes destined for the trash to reuse. They reclaimed objects from the back of friends’ sheds, old barns scheduled for teardown, or in some cases right out of the trash. “Most people who knew us kept an eye out for old paints, cabinet doors, or canvas frames,” Ryan said. “Before we knew it, our studio was full of supplies and friends who wanted to help.”

Living in Vista with Heather, Ryan’s artistic style is inspired by street art, graffiti, surf art, the ocean, his days in Mexico, travels, and fun. “Color, color, and more color,” he smiled. “If it makes you laugh or even smile, I’ve done what I hoped to do.” A curator named Sarah Spinks got Ryan involved in the Vista Art Foundation (VAF). Utilizing his trade as a plumber to plumb an abandoned building in Vista, the VAF created a popup art show. “It was easy to buy into a great cause,” he explained, “bringing fun and beauty to downtown Vista. The concept of using a building that was empty and making it live, not just as what it was but what it could be, is what I do with my artwork.”

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Name: Ryan Fryant
Profession: Artist, Plumber
Community: Vista
Hobbies & Interests: Surfing, skateboarding, art
Favorite Local Spots: Downtown Vista, any skate park, Carlsbad and Oceanside beaches
Ryan’s Advice to Aspiring Artists: Go someplace new and see something new every chance you get.


artist_fryant2The Art Alley Festival is a favorite of Ryan’s because it allows everyone to participate and experience the art. “It’s all about making Vista beautiful and bringing fun, accessible art to the community.” He would like to remove the mystical element from art and make it more available to all. “This year we are bringing an interactive piece as well,” Ryan shared. “It’s big, not in the figurative sense, literally.” One of Ryan’s trademarks is making large pieces, so he is right at home at the festival, and in his love for the Vista community.