Artist Ryan Smoluk: Wake Up Call

Ryan Smoluk Lion Bear Tiger

Ryan Smoluk has titled his painting of a true story of the bonds between a Lion, Bear, and a Tiger “Friendship.” This painting and other of Ryan’s recent works are on display at Art Beat Studio in a exhibit titled “Wake Up Call.”

By Ryan Smoluk

What’s going on?? I don’t know about you but I’m having a tough time making sense of what’s happening in the world. I keep waiting for someone to step up to the plate and say, “enough is enough!” What has happened to to personal integrity, truthfulness or kindness?

My name is Ryan Smoluk. I am an artist. I still believe that change starts one person at a time. To quote a famous actor “when your heart is broken, make art.” Art can be very powerful; I feel art has no boundaries has no limits and it a is a universal language. In art we are all equal. There is an emotional connection.

I have autism; it is a life long neurodevelopemental disorder. Autism is both a blessing and a curse. When I’m creating art I visually see the image in my brain and I’m driven to see it through with relentless persistence. I usually crash when the piece is completed.

Earlier this year I was deeply honoured to be recognized by Canada Council for the Arts Award.

This grant award gave me the opportunity to have my own art studio and art supplies for a whole year. I cannot tell you how awesome this feels to have my own art studio. I found a great little space with lots of light, with the help of my Mom and my mentor Diana Thorneycroft. My studio is in the center of the arts district in Winnipeg. Some days I open to the public. I call my space “Studio 607” mainly because it’s on the 6th floor.

Ryan Smoluk in his studio

It’s mid-October and I’m busy preparing for my next solo art show, opening November 3-24th at the Artbeat Studio. I am working on a painting that is not quite finished yet; it’s a painting about struggling, pain and overcoming adversity.

This is a tragic true story about 3 baby animals, a bear a lion and a tiger. Aka (BLT)

They were found in deplorable and cruel conditions, chained to the wall by a ring through their noses in the basement of a drug dealer’s house. Thank God someone stood up and said something….
You can GOOGLE this story (Link here).

The animals were rescued and taken to the Noah’s Ark Sanctuary. The staff instinctively thought it best to separate them and place them with their own species. They showed signs of anxious behaviour and were not thriving. The staff then decided to see what would happen if they were reunited. The animals began to immediately comfort each other and exhibit affectionate behaviors . Their bond is so powerful that they refuse to be separated ever again for the rest of their lives.

After such a traumatic early life they now share a three-acre enclosure where they can be seen playing, eating and sleeping together and grooming each other. Never wandering far from each other’s side. To me there is a human element, with their connection and to their healing together. I call this painting “ FRIENDSHIP.”

The title of my show is “ WAKE UP CALL.”


Each year Canada Council for the Arts gives over 200 grants to artists and scholars in their quest for innovation and excellence. Ryan is one of the 2017 recipients. Ryan’s Exhibit “Wake Up Call” will be on display at Art Beat Studio, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada from November 3 – 24, 2017. For more about Ryan Smoluk visit his website here.


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