Local 8th grader changing the world one painting at a time


What started as a piece of art for a school principal has turned into much more

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An eighth-grade student in the Tigard-Tualatin area wants to change the world — one poster at a time.

What started as a piece of art for Ryan Lomber’s school principal has turned into much more. This student’s artwork will help make sure other students don’t go hungry, all while spreading kindness. There are messages about love, inclusion and human rights.

Twality Middle School student Ryan is the artist behind these images, which grew to a total of nine paintings after a teacher, Emily Dehn, saw one hanging in the principal’s office.

“Ms. Dehn saw it and she really liked it and she asked me to do some paintings for her room.”

Twality Middle School is welcoming students back into a new building and Ms. Dehn thought these messages were timely — and set a perfect tone.

“I really wanted to have an inclusive message to students that conveyed the fact that everybody belonged and everybody was welcome in our space,” Dehn said.

After Dehn posted the images on her social media, many friends and colleagues told her they also wanted the posters. Then came an idea: sell them online, with all of the proceeds going to help feed students in need.

“We made reproductions of Ryan’s work and we are going to be doing a Packed with Pride fundraiser, and 100% of the proceeds will go to Packed with Pride,” Dehn explained.

Packed with Pride is a food box program sponsored by the Foundation for Tigard Tualatin schools. Since the pandemic started, they’ve been feeding 850 families on a weekly basis.  

Ryan is excited her posters have become part of this bigger movement to help fellow students in need — and to also spread her messages beyond just her school.

“I think if we can start having them in schools it will be easier to spread them throughout the community and be heard more.”

Ms. Dehn thinks Ryan will make a difference with anything she puts her mind towards.

“I have no doubt that whatever she puts her energy into she can and change the world,” Dehn said.

If you’d like to purchase one of Ryan’s posters, follow this link.

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