Ryman Arts Program


Debra Morrison

Ethan Chen, Staff Writer

Just this previous Summer, I applied and was accepted into the Ryman Arts Program (RAP), a non-profit organization that focuses on educating high-school level students in the arts. RAP not only provides free classes for those who are accepted into their course but a wide variety of necessary supplies as well.


Where did the program come from?

Herbert D. Ryman, the man whom the program was named after, was a professional artist who was most famous for his work in sketching and visualizing Walt Disney’s first ideas for the Disneyland parks. Following his passing, Lucille Ryman Carroll, his sister, had decided to establish the program in memory of Herbert’s belief in the importance of mentoring youth in the various fields of art and creation. Since then, the program has continued to offer free courses and materials for those deeply interested in the arts.


What exactly goes on at RAP?

RAP hosts its 3-4 hour classes on a weekly basis. They operate independently at two different locations, California State Fullerton University and the Otis College of Art and Design. This makes it easier for attending students to attend a location more available to them. All of the location’s professors and staff are available to chat with before class, as long as they’re clearly available. Students are also free to talk with each other and are even encouraged to share their artwork with one another with the intent to offer constructive criticism. However, once class begins, students are expected to take their seats and be ready to work. This should come as no surprise, because while the environment may seem very friendly and open, Ryman Arts is, after all, an extensive and strenuous course that will require your utmost concentration and full participation for you to get the most out of. Once class begins, students will take out their completed artwork homework assignments assigned at the end of the previous week’s class. The professors heavily emphasize the importance of sharing your work as well as the ability to receive and give out good criticism and suggestions. After this short period, the professor will usually begin his or her lesson for the day. While the class’s lesson will vary depending on what the professor wishes to cover in that class, usually they will focus on one major subject rather than jumping from topic to topic in order to remain focused and provide a smooth lesson. Most often, lessons include mediums like pencil sketching, still-lifes, and drawing with pastels and specialized chalks.



Along with its art courses, RAP also provides a large variety of opportunities for its students designed to help with applying to college, getting their name out into the world of the art industry, and more. Through various college fairs, art shows, scholarship counseling days, award events, and more, RAP makes sure that its students are provided with all that they need to continue working on their passions in the field of art and to find ways that they can incorporate art into professional job opportunities as well. This is definitely one of the most beneficial services provided by the Ryman Arts Program.


How do I apply?

Of course, being a competitive program that offers free materials and courses, Ryman Arts has a strict acceptance procedure. In order to apply, the applicant must fill out various interview forms and applications as well as complete two pencil drawings demonstrating your existing knowledge of still-life and pencil-sketching aspects. Ryman Arts has an acceptance rate of around 50%, and you must also submit a teacher-recommendation letter for the program. Once you’re in, you can look forward to completely free college-level classes and materials fit for a true professional artist! The next time for applications at RAP will be for the Spring 2020 semester, so if you’re looking to apply have your applications ready by then! You can view more specific details and information on the application process here at the RAP official website.

Photo courtesy of RYEMANARTS.ORG