Graphic Design major Ryan Bach finds belonging, connection, and opportunity in MSJ Renaissance program: MSJ Art Guild.

ryan bach

As early as five years old, Ryan was deeply into art. It began with a fascination for animatronics, but eventually his interest shifted towards public signage. “I’ve always enjoyed looking and thinking about what goes into a work of art, and how over time the designs and style can change,” says Ryan.

Eventually, he decided to explore and engage with the limitless possibilities of graphic design to discover his own creative solutions. The best part, he says, is witnessing the progress. “I’ve been doing consistent graphic design work for about seven years now, and I can see a progression of skill. That’s what fuels my passion for Art & Design,” Ryan notes.

A Collaborative Art-Making Experience

The MSJ Renaissance is made up of various programs at Mount St. Joseph University that allow students to broaden their understanding of the human experience, and unleash their creative potential. Students of any major can earn a $500 per semester award through participation in the arts, including: Art Guild, Peak Productions, Theatre, University Band, University Singers, or Writer's Block.

Open to all MSJ students by instructor approval, Art Guild is a hands-on art making experience. The Art Guild provides students with the opportunity to work on individual and group projects in areas of their expertise and interest, and members of the class complete public art projects, both on and off campus.

Initially, Ryan was captivated by the $500 scholarship—but after joining, he soon realized the meaningful connections he created with those in the Art & Design field while building a stronger portfolio for future endeavors.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with all sorts of people who enjoy Art & Design as much as I do—from Fine Artists, Graphic Designers, and Art Education students! Plus, that's not even going into the professors I’ve worked with. Art Guild has truly helped me make meaningful connections with those around me.”

Ryan’s favorite initiative that he has worked on so far within the past two years was a ISS Help Desk mural, where he was involved from start to finish. “Working on that project from June through October was truly worth it. From sketch to paint, it truly made my job engaging and contemporary.”

In photo: MSJ staff member standing by completed ISS Help Desk Mural.

Along with a big thank you to his colleagues for their continued support, Ryan also credits Associate Professor of Graphic Design Kurt Grannan for his expertise and guidance. “The relationships that I have created in Art Guild have been long lasting. I've met many people who have positively impacted my life in great ways, and I’ve also met great people I'm able to work with. It is worth it to anyone who wants to work with art.”

In addition to Art Guild, Ryan is also the Studio San Giuseppe Art Gallery co-op, where he assists with the installation of the various shows that go into the Mount’s art gallery throughout the year. He also helps with the gallery receptions to ensure it goes according to plan.

Ryan emphasizes the power of connection when asked for advice on making the most out of an MSJ experience.

“Make connections with as many people as possible as long as they help you in some way, from academics or just being a good friend,” he says. “Make sure to have a planner so you can keep track of everything and just take life one day at a time.”

Interested in Graphic Design?

Graphic design students discover a wealth of opportunities to explore and develop their creative spirit. Students develop skills and competencies in problem-solving, multi-page design, information graphics, and brand strategies along with a proficiency in the latest industry software.

They also progress through rigorous studio fundamentals such as design concepts, typography, and drawing. 

Check out our Graphic Design program page to learn more!