“I find (“Nine-Year-Old-Kid”) a completely enigmatic painting – absolutely magical”
…Lucinda Barnes, Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
“…a curious innocence – a spectral quality that’s very dreamlike. It’s quite cinematic”
...Ned Rifkin, Director, High Museum of Art, Atlanta
“One of Alaska’s premier portrait painters…characteristic of her painting style is her uncanny ability to capture the essence of her subjects’ individuality while also revealing how she, herself, feels about them.”
…Anchorage Museum of History and Art, Museum Today
The show as a whole sets up a wonderful maze of images and possibilities, creating a visual experience as fun as puzzling, and as alluring as troubling. In “Big Girl,” a waifish ratty blond girl in a beige dress stands before a large backdrop of a girl in ponytails making a face and sticking out her tongue. This dichotomy of growing up, of living, of remembering, of seeing people, and of seeing oneself runs through the show and penetrates the flesh of unspoken experiences, emotions, wishes and dreams.”
Dawnell Smith, Anchorage Press, 2010
“When my husband and I eagerly visited Boston galleries last summer, we found a portrait artist not quite as good as Jane Terzis and a photographer whose works were less provocative than those by Mark Daughhetee. The art offerings were disappointing, but not surprising. On every trip, we have seen works similar to those by Alaska artists, but less satisfying. In conversations with friends, I find I am not alone in this experience. Larger communities can offer more art, but not necessarily better art. Being able to see quality art takes more than having a population of professional artists. There has to be a societal commitment of support as well, or the art will migrate elsewhere. Despite limited public funding, artists and art lovers have helped create support that similar to, but smaller than, offerings in other states. As consolations, Alaska offers a few opportunities that are difficult to find Outside.“
excerpt from Wanda Seamster: The State of the Art in Alaska, The Anchorage Daily News, March 2005
“While Terzis’ portraits are engagingly painterly, with loose brushstrokes and bold color, what makes them so good is that Terzis can draw. She has a master’s degree in medical illustration from the University of California in San Francisco and teaches anatomy to art students at the University of Alaska Southeast. The solo exhibition program at the Anchorage Museum represents one of the most competitive and prestigious artistic opportunities in the state. Terzis has earned her place in that spotlight.”
Julie Decker, Anchorage Press
“The portrait is a subject where the artist, if imposing too much of his own personality or technique, is at risk of failure. Consequently, we find some of the most honest and beautiful images in this area. Jane Terzis’ back of the head portrait, Nine Year Old Kid, contributes a contemporary take on the subject that is coy and humorous. Her confident yet lyrical brushwork renders a particular head that becomes youth in general.”
Anchorage Museum of History and Art, Documents and Inventions: Art from the Permanent Collection, Images from Experience, David Mollett, Curator
On display from October 5 through November 12, “Acts of Unremarkable Bravery” is an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Distinguished Alumna Exhibiting Artist Jane Terzis ’72. Terzis, of Juneau, Alaska, has attention-grabbing displays of graphics on paper. One is a set of twelve drawings individually framed titled “I have the capacity for…” They feature a graphic on paper and a soap bar beneath each graphic. In addition, she has stunning oil on panels such as “Carol, Ground Zero, NYC, Oct. 2001” and “Wildthing at the Glacier.” says Justin Kronewetter, professor of fine arts, “By featuring Jane Terzis’ artwork here, we give her work the stamp of approval for what she has accomplished as a professional artist. It is a high honor for us to do so.”
Her former OWU art teacher, Marty Kalb, comments, “I had her as a student in 1972 and her paintings were very realistic. She placed figures in ambiguous spaces, and she would always challenge the viewer to relate the figure to a space that was unclear. The viewer’s challenge is to ask why is the image the way it is.”
Ohio Wesleyan University Magazine 2006, Lynne McBee
IceBreakers: Alaska’s Most Innovative Artists, by Julie Decker, Publisher: International Gallry of Contemporary Art, 2001
“Jane Terzis is an artist who is commonly known for her works in oil, egg tempera, and graphite. She creates invented portraits of different fictional personalities like Mother Courage, Little Brat, or Bogeyman. These imaginary portraits show a definite personality, and tell a story to the viewer. Her “9 Year Old Kid” shows some of this.’In somebody’s face, there’s a practiced expression that masks something fundamental, that isn’t masked in the back.’ In this painting, she captures closely the slight slump of the shoulders, the tilt of the neck, size of the ears, and the flop of brown hair we can all recognize as belonging to a child of 9 years.
Since she was a child, Terzis has seen herself as an artist. “I used to watch my grandmother paint, and for me, the idea ofmaking a picture was magical.” She earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from Ohio Wesleyan University.Then she studied for three years to earn her M.A. in Medical and Biological Illustration. As part of the program, Terzis studied Physiology and Pathology, and took human anatomy classes with students of medicine. “The coolest part for me was to see textures and colors inside the human body and to learn to reproduce the way that looks and how the body works,” said Terzis. She explains that medical illustrators use techniques that others illustrators don’t. She had to be precise and accurate. “I was into surrealism at the time and on an impulse I thought that medical illustration might be the most surreal kind of painting one could get involved with.”
Art has the potential to communicate the fundamental, eliminating the extraneous.
Jane lived in Juneau, Alaska from 1979 to 2011 when she retired as an Associate Professor of Art at the University of Alaska. She now lives and works in Portland, Oregon
University of Alaska Article announcing Jane Terzis retirement 2011
Jane Terzis, Assistant Professor of Art and Humanities Department Chair is retiring after more than three decades on the UAS Juneau campus. She started at UAS in 1980 (then Juneau Douglas Community College) as an Artist-In-Residence. Her charge at the time was directing the Arts-In-The-Prisons program for the University of Alaska. This program established GED and AA degree programs in visual, literary and performing arts in all of the prisons in the state. Leaving that position in 1983, she continued on at UAS as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Art teaching Natural Science Illustration and Upper Division Drawing classes until she was re-hired as a full-time professor of art and co-chair of the art program in 2002. “I met Jane Terzis in the spring of 2004 when I enrolled in her Intermediate Drawing class at UAS, “ writes 2011 Outstanding Graduate in Art Teri Robus. “She became my advisor when I was accepted into the new BA in Art program (2008). She was my art history professor, painting instructor, mentor; a powerful inspiration.”
“I’m most pleased about the BA degree in Art that Alice Tersteeg, Jeremy Kane and I designed and implemented,” said Terzis. “Ten years ago we had two program students in the art program. At last count we had 117 program students, most are BA in Art majors”. Writes Robus, “I am not alone in saying she taught her students with great tact, honesty, humor and passion. Jane is a remarkable artist who teaches about finding truth in art. Her mark has been made on those of us who were in her classes and I for one will always be indebted to her for being a brave artist, so I can be brave too.”
“This university has an amazing cadre of smart, energetic, and fun faculty and I will miss them more than words can express. I will also miss interactions with students who have taught me so much over all these years,” said Terzis.
Jill McVarish, Owner, McVarish Gallery
Opening October 13th McVarish Gallery will present the portrait based art of painter Jane Terzis in a show titled “Learning to Live in the World”. In this collection of fictitious character studies Jane’s subjects are primarily children or scenes from childhood that convey a universally ageless sentiment about the human experience. Jane holds an MA in medical illustration and spent many years as an illustrator. Although that level of skill is apparent, there is a warmth and looser expressive nature to her painting style. She describes her intention in the handling of the character she creates, “…to convey a quality of tenderness, introspection and the challenges of living in today’s world”. Her quirky, sometimes feisty kids do just that in a way that reminds us that we are all just kids deep down, trying to figure out how to live here.
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