About Me

Artist Statement

Tierney Riggs is an interdisciplinary artist from rural Pennsylvania currently living in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He received his B.A. in Painting and Commercial Design from Lycoming College and is working on his M.F.A. at Eastern Michigan University. His work intertwines mythology and folk tales with memory and family history, combining the two into a new imaginary history. His work uses distortion to emphasis the way the past is distorted by memory and retellings. He works in a combination of traditional and digital media.


Current Artist Statement

“The ancient past: buried beneath the strata of former lives, and best left unexcavated. Archaeology is not an exact science, it's a question of interpretation. Biased data, unreliable witnesses: if you want to know about history, don't ask the people who lived it. The oldest stories are indistinguishable from myths, from fairy tales.”
–The Old Bones by non-canonical

I’ve never really been one for spending time in the real world. Most of my childhood was spent in books and games of imagination, spending nearly every moment of waiting off in some invented story, mostly oblivious to the world around me. There were things that made it through- strange family history, and strangely fragmented versions of events I was there for- and these became my own version of history, an accidental adaptation of reality.

I have always been fascinated by stories, particularly in the way they change and the way they live on through time. Mythology and folk tales, and the art that goes with them, are big influences on my work, especially the way that they change through time and place, and what they mean for the people who tell them. My work takes these bigger stories and combines with more personal ones, making a larger imaginary history that is both centred on me and my family and at the same time encompassing themes and mythologies that are much broader, with a focus on tales from areas my ancestors are from.

My work also explores the distortion of these stories and the loss of knowledge and accuracy over time due to poor records and faulty memories. I intentionally distort both the source material I am working with and the imagery I am using to emphasis this lack of precise history, as well as working in layers to portray the sense of time and what is covered up and replaced throughout time. My work also deals with my connection to my family and my past as well as my sense of alienation from much of the world around me.



Bachelor of Arts (May 2015), Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA
Master of Fine Arts (Expected December 2017), Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI


Group Exhibition, Print Swap Shop, University Gallery, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI
Juried Group Exhibition, Layers, Gallery Bypass, Tangent Gallery, Detroit, MI
Juried Group Exhibition, Wondrously Dreadful, Serendipitous Vintage, Monroe, MI, Juror: Rachel Lazere
Juried Group Exhibition, Toil and Trouble, Collingwood Art Center, Toledo, OH, Jurors: Erin Miller and Hunter L.V. Elliott
Juried Group Exhibition, Black and White Exhibit, Riverside Art Center, Ypsilanti, MI
Juried Group Exhibition, Home, Watertower Collective Show, Bona Sera, Ypsilanti, MI, Juror: Helen Vachon
Juried Group Exhibition, Graduate Student Show, Ford Gallery, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, Juror: Gregory Tom
Group Exhibition, Print Swap Shop, University Gallery, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI
Juried Group Exhibition, Senior Show, Lycoming College Gallery, Williamsport, PA, Juror: Maddy Rosenberg, Central Booking Gallery, New York, NY
Juried Group Exhibitions, Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA
Juried Group Exhibition, Dean of Students’ Office, Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA
Juried Group Exhibition, Alabaster Coffee, Williamsport, PA
Solo Exhibition, Charity Auction for Theatre Department, Mary L. Welch Theater Lobby, Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA
Solo Exhibition, Community Arts Center, Williamsport, PA


Graduate Assistantship for Printmaking Department
Phyllis I. Parsons Billman '42 Memorial Scholarship
Alfred Kohler Studio Artist Award
Art Departmental Scholarship
Art Merit Scholarship
Lycoming College Dean’s List

Professional Experience

Teacher of Record, Art 101: Art for Non Majors, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, Fall 2016
Graduate Assistant, Printmaking Department, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, 2015-present
Graphic Designer and Art Activist, Community Art Action, Ypsilanti, MI, 2016-present
Coding and Commercial Design Tutor, Academic Resource Center, Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA, 2014-2015

International Travel

Study Abroad, Spring 2014, Regent’s University, London, England
May Term Trip, Digital Photography Class, 2014, Italy