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High school displays works of nationally recognized artist and graduate

A 14-year-old student was nothing less than enthralled as she eyed the raw compositions and refined oil paintings by Ryan Shultz. Erin Morr, a Libertyville High School freshman and aspiring artist, talks of Shultz like a teenybopper would worshiping a pop music star. “I like how they seem real,” Morr said, wandering through the Libertyville High School gallery, which is displaying Shultz’s paintings through next week. “That’s real life. They’re not glorified.” Morr’s favorite Shultz painting is one that is not being exhibited at the school, which is of a man sitting in a bathtub, shooting heroin into his vein. Another is of a sullen young woman with purple hair, leaning against a car. “She seems kind of hopeless, but beautiful,” Morr said. “I like that they’re people who don’t look like model citizens.” Mostly a self-taught artist, Shultz, has become known nationally at more than 60 art shows and especially as a contestant on Bravo's "Next Great Artist" reality show. But a lauded homecoming at a recent lecture he gave at LHS is a dream come true. It's a weird dream, he noted. “I’m going back to the school I was raised at," Shultz said. "After the lecture, I walked into the gallery and 100 people were lined up to talk to me. I was giving autographs. It was weird. I always dreamed of this. It was my goal.” For the full story, click here.

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