Born in Misawa, Japan, Ryan Young (they/them/their), is a Two Spirit Ojibwe multi-
disciplinary artist from Lac du Flambeau, WI. They recently graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts, completing their BFA in Studio Arts (Photography) and a certificate in Performing Arts. Their senior show focused on empowering Two Spirit people, using a variety of mediums, including photography, silkscreen printing, projection and mixed media.
During their time in Wisconsin, they photographed album covers for local bands, shown work in art shows at multiple venues, and published in the UW’s Art Department Journal Illumination. They’ve also hosted multiple workshops focusing on Two Spirit identity/history and cultural appropriation. Their first photography project, Indigeneity, promoted representation of Indigenous students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This work lead to a photo spread in Native Max Magazine and soon after a job offer for Young as their Deputy Fashion Photography editor. Young’s photography appeared in multiple issues and even in advertisement for JG Indie during New York’s Fashion Week.
Since moving to Santa Fe in 2014 to attend IAIA, Young continues to work on a variety of projects and expanded their mediums into printmaking and performance. They were invited to speak about the Two Spirit Project, which brings voice and visibility to queer indigenous people, and their photography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in November as a part of Native American Heritage Month and Trans Visibility Week. Young’s photography will appear in an upcoming book by the American Theatre Wing and their art can be seen in LGBT Resource Centers and Centers for Diversity at Princeton and Brown University. In 2018, Young was announced as Eighth Generation’s designing artist for the Two Spirit Blanket which was released later that year.