Feb. 6, 2009

By Amy Farnum Novin
NCAA.com

Saint Cloud State men’s tennis player Ryan Schoenfeld is not only a busy student-athlete, but is also a budding artist, who currently has his works on display as a part of the St. Cloud Art Crawl.

The native of Watertown, S.D., took an early interest in art as an elementary school student, but it was not until later that he began to create his own works.

“It wasn’t until high school that I took my first formal art class and really enjoyed using the creative aspect of the brain,” said Schoenfeld.  “When I took some more advanced classes in college, it started me on the process of making my own art.”

Schoenfeld is the ultimate example of a well-rounded college student with various interests from tennis to politics because he likes connecting with people from all different realms.  His art, however, is more personal.

“One thing that intrigued me about art is that you can do it on your own time, and it comes from your personality and reflects who you are as a person,” said Schoenfeld.  

Schoenfeld, who won North Central Conference titles at fifth singles and second doubles in 2008, dabbles in all types of techniques and mediums in his art from pencil drawings to charcoal to paint.

“Each different piece has a different inspiration in itself,” said Schoenfeld.  “The artworks that are more representational – some of them I looked at photographs and tried to imitate them in my own way and create what I saw as far as my eye.  The non-representational works are always just a work in progress – I don’t know exactly what the end result will be.  If something looks like it’s working out, then I’ll continue that technique.”

Although public relations and graphic design major is not planning on pursuing a formal career in the arts, Schoenfeld had always been curious about putting together an exhibit for the St. Cloud Art Crawl.  Pieces by regional artists are displayed throughout the year at 13 different downtown locations in St. Cloud.  Schoenfeld’s work is at the Pioneer Place Theater's Veranda Lounge through March.

“It was something I had always thought about doing, but never actually took the time to pursue it,” said Schoenfeld.  “I was down there one evening, and saw that there was a featured artist who was a friend of mine, so I inquired how I could become a featured artist.  They let me know they were looking for someone for the next Art Crawl, and then it was just a matter of getting all the frames and getting them to actually see the artwork.”

Schoenfeld used several pieces that he produced in classes he taken earlier in college, and then added to the show by creating works specifically for the exhibit.

“It’s a wide variety of different types of art,” said Schoenfeld.  “I think that embodies my personality.”

With graduation quickly approaching this spring, Schoenfeld is thinking about what his future career will bring, but he also has aspirations about his artwork.

“I would like to try to incorporate different kinds of mediums in my art like technology and graphic design,” said Schoenfeld.  “Personally, as an artist, I like to explore different avenues and see what’s out there.  You never know until you try it.”

Schoenfeld began his senior season with a 1-1 mark in singles, and a 2-0 record at doubles last weekend.  St. Cloud State has appeared in eight consecutive NCAA Division II Championships.  The Huskies will host Macalester on Feb. 8.