Born in The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, home of Carnival and the Steel Drum; Weldon Ryan came to the United States at the age of six. He grew up in the Bronx where he spent his childhood. With his mother’s encouragement he pursued an art education, attending The High School of Art and Design in 1977, the State University of New York at New Paltz, and then Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. He had a short stent at The Art Students League of New York as well. When paste-up and mechanical and marker comps jobs slowed in 1987 he worked as an Urban Park Ranger for the NYC Parks Department, where he created murals for the Pelham Bay Environmental Nature Center. Two years later Weldon joined the NYPD. Weldon Ryan is the first African American to be appointed to the New York City Police Department Composite Artist Unit.
At the same time he served as one of NYC finest, Weldon painted vigorously in his studio in the D.U.M.B.O art district in Brooklyn. Several of his commercial illustrations graced the cover and pages of magazines. After 18 years of service and solving numerous crimes with his drawing skills he retired from the NYPD on December 1, 2004 and relocated with his family to Palm Coast, Florida.
His art has found a home in Palm Coast at the Salvo Art Project where he has a studio and exhibits at the numerous venues. In 2010 he served as the president of the Flagler County Art League. In 2011 he earned the honor of the Gargiulo Art Foundation Flagler County Artist of the Year. In 2013 the art gallery at the Yvonne Scarlett Golden Cultural and Educational Center opened. With the expertise of Weldon and his wife, Richlin was instrumental in setting the gallery system and curating framework for the Corridor Gallery
Weldon Ryan’s art is an “interfuse” of many styles. He uses texture, color, and realistic rendering of the subject to create a unique interpretation of the world around him. He has the ability to master any medium he chooses, be it oil, acrylic, water color, pastels, digital illustration, photography, or chavant clay. He uses the old masters’ techniques to create masterpieces.
“To be successful an artist has to have the clarity to know what he is doing when he chooses to create. Through understanding of technique I can safely assume what the end result would be. Of course we sometimes veer off to a change or two. But to control your experience is to know when something different from the norm happens. At that point we as artists choose to accept the change and go with the flow to see where we end up. That’s my scientist side. We must know technique and experiment with it. The importance of clarity is that you are not confused as to what to do when this happens.”
Weldon has exhibited at The Fashion Institute of Technology, The Bronx River Art Center, The Salmagundi Club, The Harlem State Office Building in New York City, One Police Plaza, Permanent Murals and Diorama at the Pelham Bay Environmental Nature Center which he did with Anne Arrowsmith, The Skylight Gallery in Bed-Sty, Brooklyn NY, The Flagler Art League, Art League of Daytona Beach, The Hollingsworth Gallery, Mary McLeod Bethune Visual Art Gallery, The African American Museum of the Arts in DeLand,Fl., and The Fulton Street Art Fair, YSG Cultural Education Center Art Gallery. Salvo Art Project, The Peabody Auditorium Gallery. He has appeared on The Riki Lake Show for his art skills (before the reality TV. kick took hold). His art has been shown on The Geraldo Rivera Show, CNN, Nature of The Arts BCAT and has appeared in the April 1999 issue of Nickelodeon Magazine. He was instrumental in the revival of the Flagler County Art League as President moving FCAL to its Cypress Point location and increasing membership and joining the Hollingsworth Gallery in their Second Saturday Art Walk.
Permanent art collections include The Daytona State College and is in numerous private collections.