Diane Ryan Death, Obituary – On May 2nd, 1951, Beverly Diane Beyers became the third child to be born to her parents, William Everett Beyers and Mary Louise Lightner. Beverly was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her mother was an enthusiastic Girl Scout Leader and Reading Specialist, and her father was the Director of Student Teaching and Placement at Shippensburg University. She spent her childhood in the city of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, where her parents both worked.
Bev got her start in the creative world at an early age, when she taught herself how to sew and began making clothes for her Barbie dolls. She eventually moved on to hand knitting gifts for her family and friends. She spent a lot of time in high school ‘chained to her sewing machine,’ so she couldn’t go out and play with her friends.
She attended Shippensburg University for her first two years of college after graduating from high school, but she left that school to become a member of the inaugural class of co-ed students at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. While she was attending F&M, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and became acquainted with Richard Ryan, who was originally from New Jersey. After getting married in June of 1974, they went their separate ways so that he could begin pilot training in Pensacola, Florida, and she could finish her master’s degree in science at Columbia University, in New York City.
After she completed her master’s degree, the two of them got back together and moved to Whidbey Island, Washington, so that Richard could start his naval commission there. In October of 1979, they welcomed their daughter Emily Jane Ryan while she was working as an audiologist in that location.
In 1982, Bev, Rick, and Emily made the move back to the East Coast, ultimately locating themselves in the city of Springfield, Virginia. Bev remained at home to raise Emily while also continuing to focus on her artistic passion of textile design. She did this by installing multiple looms in the house and weaving fabric for a wide variety of garments. She participated in fiber arts conferences in the region such as Capitol Convergence ’92 and became a member of the Potomac Craftsman Gallery at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. In addition, she exhibited her work at the Torpedo Factory Art Center.
She first began experimenting with printing and machine embroidery on fabrics (art-to-wear) in the late 1980s, and finally she began making her own prints out of the designs she had created (Monotypes, Collagraphs). Bev started painting in 1994 when she was looking for a way to express her ideas that was more immediate and unrehearsed. Between the years 1996 through 2003, she attended the Corcoran College of Art and Design, where she was taught by William Christenberry, William Willis, and Steven Cushner.