Teaches: High School Art (Drawing, 2D Art & Design, AP 2D Art & Design, 3D Art & Design, AP 3D Art & Design)
Tell us about your family. I was married to my wife, Shadda, in May of 2020. We met in Conway during our freshman year at Coastal Carolina University. My extended family is from Western Pennsylvania; I was born in Maryland but raised mostly in Myrtle Beach. I have one older sister who currently lives in Florence, South Carolina.
What do you like to do in your free time? I love making art of all kinds and learning new things in my home studio. I am a part of a small group at Awaken church. I’m also a huge fan of comic book movies, TV, and games.
What else would you like readers to know about you? I am the third Riney in my family and we all love art and Jesus.
What is something most people don’t know about you? I was part of a worship band for a few years in grade school.
What are you passionate about? I am passionate about making art accessible to all people. I strive to demystify certain aspects of visual art and make it fun. I am also passionate about developing community through the arts and a gospel mindset.
Why do you choose to work at Ben Lippen? This past summer, I immediately fell in love with the campus while coming for my interviews. I reached out to peers of mine who graduated from CIU and uncovered such a rich history for both the university and Ben Lippen School. I felt a kindred spirit with Taylor Nelson, the fine arts director, and was excited by his vision for fine arts. The slogan for the Fine Arts at Ben Lippen is “Better Together” and I really felt a strong personal connection to that idea.
What do students get at Ben Lippen that they won’t get somewhere else? Students get phenomenal creative teachers who care deeply about the students in an academic, personal, and spiritual way. They also get an administration that is accessible and cares tremendously. I also believe there is a commitment to develop the fine arts which is unique to Ben Lippen.
What do you love most about Ben Lippen? I love the students! The art room is an empty place without them. I have some wonderfully creative students who want to learn. The staff is a close second with the way we care for one another and push each other to do better.
What do you love most about teaching art? I love teaching art because I get to watch pieces of art come to life. It’s a terrific experience to see students make something they didn’t know they were capable of. I also love watching friendships develop and seeing artistic feedback between students.
What do you love most about teaching your students? I love watching students push themselves past project expectations. I love seeing those moments where it’s no longer a class assignment and it’s something they are passionate about. It is also great to see little moments of discovery in their artwork.