Ryan, Sally


Sally Ryan began her art education with a Certificate in Graphic Design, completed in 1981, followed by a Diploma of Education. Sally worked as a teacher before marrying and starting a family.

Sally spent several years from 1998 – 2005 creating ceramic works inspired by time spent in Italy. She won several prizes in that medium and was commissioned to paint a number of commemorative plates for various institutions.

In 2008 she taught art at Sydney Grammar School. An increasing interest in portrait drawing and painting led her to enrol in part time classes at the Julian Ashton Art School and after winning a scholarship there for 2010, she has been studying and painting as a fulltime artist. Sally has a strong commitment to classical drawing and her work reflects a fine tuned sensitivity to the drama of light and shade, and the heightened effects of photorealism.


Sally Ryan at the PAA exhibition in Washington DC in 2014

Sally Ryan at the PAA exhibition in Washington DC in 2014




2014 – Winner Kennedy Prize, Adelaide

2012 – Winner Still Life Section – Mortimore Prize, Dubbo

2011 – Winner Small Painting Section – Mortimore Prize, Dubbo

2011 – Highly Commended –  Nora Heysen Still Life Centenary Award

2010Joshua Smith Prize for Classical Drawing (Julian Ashton)

2010 Jocelyn Maughan Prize for Drawing Drapery (Julian Ashton)

2009- Winner Sydney Mechanics School of Arts Scholarship at Julian Ashton Art School

2009 – Winner People’s Choice Manly Selective School Art Exhibition



Selected Exhibitions

2014 – Semi-Finalist Doug Moran Portrait Prize

2014 – Shades of Reality – Group Exhibtion, Mary Place Gallery  

2014 – PAA Multi-cultural Group Exhibition, Australian Embassy, Washington.

2014 – Journeys West, Group Exhibition, Orange Regional Gallery

2014 – Kennedy Prize, Adelaide

2013 – Finalist Archibald Portrait Prize

2013 – Finalist Black Swan National Portrait Prize

2013 – Shades of Reality – Group Exhibition, Mary Place Gallery

2013 – “Multi-Cultural Australia” PAA Exhibition, Parliament House, Sydney

2012 – Finalist – Doug Moran Portrait Prize, Moran House, Sydney

2012 – Finalist – Adelaide Perry Drawing Prize

2012 – Finalist – Shirley Hannan Portrait Prize, Bega Regional Gallery

2012 – Mortimore Prize, Dubbo

2012 – Portrait Artists Australia Ten Years –  Book Launch exhibition, Art House Hotel

2011- Adelaide Perry Drawing Prize

2011 – Mortimore Prize, Dubbo

2011 – Nora Heysen Centenary Prize, Adelaide

2010- Finalist Portia Geach Memorial Award, S H Ervin Gallery, Sydney

2010 – Finalist Mortimore Prize in Drawing and Still Life Painting

2010 – Julian Ashton Art School Student and Teacher Exhibition

2009 – Manly Public School Art Exhibition

2009 – Julian Ashton Art School Student and Teacher Exhibition

2008 – Finalist portrait section – Mortimore Prize, Dubbo



  • 2008 – 2011- Part-time  study at Julian Ashton Art School
  • 2010- Fulltime scholarship student at Julian Ashton
  • 2008- Summer Short Course at National Art School
  • 2007- Winter course with Mignon Parker (Mixed Media) at Mitchell College, Bathurst
  • 2005 – Diploma of Visual Art (Northbridge School of Visual Arts)
  • 2001 – Product Certified Ceramist (practicing ceramic artist 1998-2005)
  • 1993-4 – Life Drawing Willoughby Workshop Art Centre
  • 1987 – Diploma of Education/Primary Teaching (Kuring-gai College Advanced Education), Teaching 1988-1991
  • 1983 – Certificate Graphic Design (Randwick Technical College)