Saluda Historic Depot to host Bill Ryan exhibit, posthumously

Beloved by his friends, colleagues, and students, the work of William H (Bill) Ryan will be remembered in April during an exhibit of his life’s work at the Saluda Historic Depot through the month of April. Photo courtesy of Saluda Historic Depot

From Saluda Historic Depot:

Saluda Historic Depot proudly exhibits the work of artist, Bill Ryan, posthumously

SALUDA, NC–Beloved by his friends, colleagues, and students, the work of William H (Bill) Ryan will be remembered in April during an exhibit of his life’s work at the Saluda Historic Depot through the month of April.  The exhibit will open with a reception on April 9, 2016 from 6:30 to 8:30.

Bill’s partner in Ryan-Boyle Antiques, Jim Boyle is organizing the exhibit and will donate 50% of the proceeds from any sales to the fundraising by the Saluda Historic Depot to purchase the depot and operate a train and heritage museum.

“I know that Bill would be totally behind the efforts to raise the funds needed to purchase the Saluda Historic Depot. He believed strongly in preserving Saluda, not only its heritage but also its historic buildings.  I, too, want to see this endeavor succeed, and I hope this exhibition will assist in achieving this goal,” says Jim Boyle.

Bill Ryan passed away February 20, 2013 and was so loved by his students, fellow Saluda residents and others, an endowment fund was set up in his memory. The endowment was earmarked for special workshops and classes to be held at Tryon Painters and Sculptors Gallery in Tryon.

He began his study of art with his mother, an accomplished artist, and graduated with a combined art and English literature degree from the College Of William And Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and continued studies at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.  After several years in retailing, he was hired by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc. where he became senior editor, working on college textbooks in the areas of Political Science, Art and English Literature.  During his time in New York, he attended several classes and workshops at the Arts Students League and continued study with several local artists.

Bill moved to Charleston, SC in 1970 and taught in the public school system there.  He was assigned to a school on Yonges Island, and it was there that he learned to appreciate the beauty of the Carolina low country.  During this time, he and four other teachers created a guide to teaching art in the elementary school which is still being used as the basis for elementary art education in South Carolina.

With his move to Saluda in 1981, Bill concentrated on watercolor and oil landscapes of this area, and produced a series of seasonal floral arrangements inspired by the catalogues of English and American horticulturists of the 18th century.

In a past interview Bill commented, “I was once accused of ‘painting for the people,’” he says, “Of course I do! All artists do that– we simply choose different audiences.  All art is communication and art that does not communicate is not art.”

Bill taught in Saluda and at the Fine Arts Center in Tryon.  His work is in collections throughout the United States and he received awards and commendations in several East Coast shows.

The Saluda Historic Depot is open to the public Thursday through Sunday noon to 4pm and holidays.  You are invited to visit the depot and view the creativity and talent of Bill Ryan.

For more information, please contact Judy Ward at 828-674-5958 or or Cathy Jackson at 828-817-2876 or

About Dan Hesse
I grew up outside of Atlanta and moved to WNC in 2001 to attend Montreat College. After college, I worked at NewsRadio 570 WWNC as an anchor/reporter and covered Asheville City Council and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners starting in 2004. During that time I also completed WCU's Master of Public Administration program. You can reach me at

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