PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A Valley Catholic high school student is continuing her mission of inclusivity through her art — starting with messages on posters and expanding to cards, magnets and t-shirts, knowing not everyone agrees with her.
Ryan Lomber’s art has evolved over the years with messages of human rights, love and inclusion.
“It’s motivated by what I [have] seen in my school, what I feel is important, what my friends struggle with and what sometimes I struggle with,” Lomber said.
During her time as a student at Twality Middle School, teachers hung her posters in their classrooms. She began selling them — donating the money to Packed with Pride, a food box program sponsored by the Foundation for Tigard Tualatin Schools.
After her story aired on KOIN 6 News in 2021, Lomber was caught off guard by some negative comments online.
“It wasn’t extremely easy at first, it took me by surprise. It wasn’t something I necessarily expected, but it makes sense. We all believe different things,” Lomber said.
She says she came to realize that everyone’s beliefs and experiences are deserving of respect, even if they’re different from hers, so she has shifted a lot of her art to focus on being true to yourself.
“I want it to be something that everyone can relate to and feel like ‘Yes, I can be that’ no matter what your beliefs are. So, I’m trying to center some of the art, like be yourself, because I want my art to show that it’s important to respect everyone’s beliefs.
Lomber is still donating proceeds to the food box program and when she reaches $10,000, she’ll pick a new organization.
She’s now selling posters, magnets, cards and shirts through her website — saying she wants to support everyone’s beliefs, but still give people the right to choose.
Lomber added “it’s extremely important that I keep doing this because we need it in the world, and we need people to stand up for people and who aren’t afraid.”