5 Things You Didn't Know About Terrance Pratt:
1. Before becoming a full-time artist, served on the computer science faculties of the University of Virginia, the University of Texas at Austin, and Michigan State University, and held a top-level research position at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center from 1992-99
2. Has been involved in a swing dance community for nearly 20 years and created many portraits of fellow dancers along the way.
3. Enjoys painting a variety of subject matter, though most recently the native wildflowers have captured his attention.
4. Lately has spent time learning about the printmaking process, and now handcrafts all of his giclee prints with unique papers, like Japanese mulberry.
5. Now at 81, he doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon. He plans to continue with his work because of “the joy of making and the joy of exploring – finding new ways to see things.”
CAC Artist Interview:
From NASA to the Corcoran School, and 20 years of swing dancing, Terrence Pratt is truly a jack-of-all-trades. Coming from a background in computer science, he served on the faculties of the University of Virginia, the University of Texas at Austin, and Michigan State University, and held a top-level research position at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center from 1992-99. It was only after retiring that he finally decided to pursue a full-time art career. “I am 81 and you just gotta keep going” … talk about a mover and shaker!
Early in his artistic career, Terrence was most interested in portraiture; “so that got me started and then I decided to open my own gallery on the downtown mall in Charlottesville.” While Terrence now enjoys a wide variety of subject matter, he has recently found a new interest: wildflowers. As a neighbor of the Shenandoah National Park, he spends days hiking and taking pictures of the native wildflowers for inspiration. “All of these wildflowers are just delightful. They have exotic names, and it’s fun to explore the different varieties.” As each season brings its own colors and varieties, Terrence finds unending inspiration. “I’m still early in this wildflower thing, but I’m loving it.”
Creatively speaking, Terrence often begins his process with a photo and then uses Photoshop to create an interesting design. Lately, he has enjoyed diving into the more technical aspects of the creative process. “I recently got into printmaking, I handcraft my giclee prints by choosing unique papers, like Japanese mulberry. It’s very exciting and what I’ve been working on for the past 4 years.” He took it one step further, by designing and crafting his own mattes and frames for each artwork. “I’m trying to be creative through the whole spectrum to create something beautiful for your wall.”
For Terrence, there is no plan to slow down anytime soon. An adventurous soul, he plans to continue experimenting because of “the joy of making and the joy of exploring – finding new ways to see things.”
Terrence (Terry) Pratt has been making art full-time since 1999. It’s his second career and he loves it. He was trained at the Corcoran School of Art and Design in Washington, DC. From 2004-06 he owned the Laughing Lion Gallery and Studio on Water Street in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia, just a few steps off the downtown mall. His studio is now near downtown Charlottesville. Terry’s work has a local focus. He loves the Central Virginia area, the beauty of its landscapes and the energy of the people in it, and he likes to bring that connection into his work.
Terry holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and pursued a successful 35-year first career as an author and teacher in the field of computer science. He served on the faculties of the University of Virginia, the University of Texas at Austin, and Michigan State University, and held a top-level research position at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center from 1992-99. He was listed in Who’s Who in America from 1979-94.
Starting in 2015, Terry became interested in the potential of giclee print-making using the new fine art papers and inkjet-printing technologies becoming available to artists. He partnered with his son to start Shenandoah Fine Art, a small business dedicated to designing and making the best in fine art prints. He now divides his time between painting, drawing, and print-making. Visit the website of Shenandoah Fine Art to see the full extent of his work.