Thursday, May 8, 2014

ART: Ryan Musick (November Issue 2013)

Photographer Ryan Musick and I met, while we were both showing art at this year’s Bluegrass Along the Harpeth on the Franklin Square.  He came with one piece of art, “Bingo’s Banjo” (pictured right).  However, someone else took it home. With so many bluegrass enthusiasts gathered together, it was no surprise that it sold.  It was truly a standout piece amongst all the art, and I knew right away that I wanted to feature Ryan in my column.

Ryan calls himself “a gypsy kid”.  He grew up in South Carolina but has moved from coast to coast.  This is his second stop in Nashville.  After moving back to South Carolina for a while, he returned on the day of the flood and has been here since then.  Ryan feels that the artistic culture is a good fit for him. 

Photography has only been a professional career for Ryan in the past year.  He has had his hand in many things, such as massage therapy, architecture and assisting in the buying of rugs in Mexico.  He has always had an artful eye and appreciated the beauty in his surroundings.  He photographed as a hobby, until he realized that he was capturing something really special.  When Ryan moved back to Nashville, he was fortunate enough to apprentice under artist Jack Spencer.  Jack taught him the difference in art and photography and how to print well.  “Jack is a genius,” Ryan said, “And I feel lucky to have worked with him.”
Ryan works in three different forms of photography.  He photographs musicians; he does commercial work in architecture and advertising; and he does fine art.  His first fine art photograph was “Six String Lottery” (pictured below).  He decided to let go of all of the technical aspect of photography and just see what happened.  The result was obviously beautiful, so he continued on to the banjo.  He has also photographed Mickey Raphael’s harmonica and Jeff Coffin’s saxophone, but the banjo is his favorite.  He is not stopping there, though.  He already has another instrument in the works. 

Since photography has become a career for Ryan, he feels honored to be hired to do it. He enjoys working on his own time with no art director the most.  “Although I appreciate assistance in a commercial shoot,” Ryan said, “being able to do it myself is amazing but most difficult because I’m my own worst critic.” 

You can see more of Ryan’s work at

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