On an overcast spring afternoon, Ryan Bahlman is in the abandoned Hacienda de la Sierra building on 931 Tahoe Blvd. in Incline Village, Nev., doing construction on what will be the new Alibi Ale Works brewery. The interior is completely torn up and Bahlman is hard at work in a dark hoodie and headphones, hammering away, helping his childhood friend and Alibi Ale Works co-founder and co-owner Rich Romo renovate the building.
“With murals everyone can see it, it’s not just hanging up on someone’s wall.” –Ryan Bahlman
However, Bahlman is better defined as the face behind RYNoArt; his distinct designs are painted on canvases that hang around the Tahoe Sierra and beyond. He recently branched out painting on larger spaces such as breweries, sports facilities, bedroom walls and more. Bahlman takes out his phone and shares some photos of the pieces he put together fusing metal, glass and wood.
“For Alibi, I’m going to add glass, maybe some mixed canvas art, combine three different elements,” Bahlman says.
Bahlman grew up with art; his mother was a painter who specialized in repainting album covers, like those of Cat Stevens and Janis Joplin.
When Bahlman was in junior high, in the early 1990s, ripping around Incline on his skateboard and snowboarding up at Diamond Peak Ski Resort, when he met representatives from the skate/surf/snow brand Volcom. Bahlman’s rebellious crew consisting of himself, Romo and other local groms. Following that meeting, Bahlman sent Volcom some drawings and in return, the Volcom reps sent him a box of T-shirts and stickers with his art on them. He worked with the company for a long time after that.
“For many years, my art had the Volcom stone in it,” he says.
In the late 90s, some of the guys who were sponsored by Volcom also rode for Lib Technologies, a well-respected snowboard company that showcased some of the best riders including Jamie Lynn, Mike Parillo and Travis Rice. Between the years 1999 and 2011, Bahlman designed about 30 snowboards in Rice’s pro-series collection. However, now that Lib Tech is owned by Quiksilver and the action-sports scene is inundated with artists, it seems that Bahlman has lost his place in the lineup.
“Back then it was only four to five artists. I thought I was never going to have to work again. But it just came and went,” he says. “The life of an artist is a constant struggle.”
That wasn’t the end of RYNoArt, however. People still find his work on the Facebook Lib Tech snowboard collectors forum and buy his prints.
During the 2017-18 winter season, Bahlman was thrown into another unique project, which prompted him to take his art in a new direction. A friend of his who worked for Red Bull flew him to Austria where the company had built an indoor skate park inside of an airplane hangar. Bahlman spent five days painting the walls, pillars and skate ramps in a colorful, street-art style.
“I came back [from Austria] and realized I wanted to do more of that,” he says, adding that he is doing more public-art commissions and even recently painted the walls of the EZAIR Trampoline Park and Laser Tag Arena in Reno, Nev.
“With murals everyone can see it, it’s not just hanging up on someone’s wall,” he says.
Focusing on creating original high-end canvas art is helping Bahlman stay interested in his craft and providing new opportunities, including an apparel line. Fans of RYNoArt can buy his art printed on women’s leggings, T-shirts, beach towels, hats and iPhone cases through his Web site.
It’s fun to see what Bahlman comes up with next. You can view his unique style, which may consist of aliens, skeletons, crustaceans and animals, hanging up or painted around Tahoe. | rynoart.com
Photos courtesy Ryan Bahlman