VCHS Student Ryan Lomber
As we explore how the Sisters’ Core Value, Live Valiantly, is demonstrated across campus and beyond, Valley Catholic High School sophomore Ryan Lomber is a shining example of how living valiantly can be embodied in the lives of young people.
Lomber’s artwork, community involvement, and dedication to personal growth reflect the values of the Sisters, who inspire others to live courageously and authentically.
Before she was a student at Valley Catholic High School, Ryan Lomber made a commitment to embark on an ambitious journey that would require acting with integrity, courage, and bravery. The journey started when she was in the eighth-grade, the same year when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and George Floyd’s death prompted a surge of protest demonstrations across the United States.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ryan found herself drawn to painting. Forced to spend more time indoors, she needed a creative outlet to express herself and cope with the isolation that came with social distancing and remote learning. However, it was not until the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests that Ryan’s painting took on a new purpose.
Like many people, Ryan was deeply affected by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the conversations that followed about police brutality and racial injustice. She saw how these tragedies impacted mental health issues both locally and globally. As a young person, she felt frustrated and helpless, unsure of how to make a difference in a world that felt so divided. That’s when she realized that painting could be a way to spread positive messages and help people during a time when it was needed.
“Bullying and discrimination were serious issues in my middle school that have motivated some of the messages,” said Ryan. “I hope to convey a sense of safety and inclusion that all of us as human beings are entitled to feel. I want us all to be seen and to understand that we are all connected to each other.”
Ryan’s art is characterized by bold colors and uplifting messages. Her artwork carries messages of love, acceptance, and unity, with the intention of helping people see beyond their differences and to embrace each other’s unique qualities. She uses her artwork to inspire others to be true to themselves, to accept and love themselves for who they are, and to live their lives authentically.
One of Ryan’s most popular pieces of artwork is a poster that reads “Live Like Yourself.” The message is simple but powerful. It encourages people to embrace their individuality and to live life on their own terms. This message resonates with people of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life, and has become a symbol of Ryan’s mission to promote inclusivity.
As Ryan continued to paint, she found that her work had a powerful impact on both herself and those around her. She felt more connected to her community and more hopeful about the future. She often receives messages from strangers who were touched by her art, thanking her for spreading positivity and reminding them of the importance of love and acceptance.
“A lot of people shared their stories with me. It was the first time in my life that I realized we are all the same, all connected, and all part of this journey of life and death,” said Ryan. “It has reaffirmed the fact that my art really does mean something. If my art can make one person feel as though they belong and are accepted, then it is all worth it to me.”
Through her art, Ryan showed that even in the midst of darkness and pain, there is always room for hope and healing. She proved that one person’s creativity and passion can make a difference in someone’s life. Ryan’s paintings serve as a reminder that we all have the power to create change with any medium or outlet we choose.
Ryan plans to continue her creative endeavors by managing her art business. Her ultimate goal is to have her posters on the walls of every classroom in America. She plans to go to law school and become a social justice lawyer. “My dream is to be on the Supreme Court.”
What does Live Valiantly mean to you?
“To me it means being determined and standing strong in what I believe. I think living valiantly requires a lot of bravery so that you do not give up on your beliefs. By choosing to live this way, I believe I can raise the consciousness of others to do the same. It is important though to show grace for one another’s beliefs. A valiant approach to life is important as long as there is room for love and tolerance.”
To learn more about Ryan’s effort to change the world one canvas at a time, visit her website: art-by-ryan.com