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Red dots (Sold) at Boisjoli Fine Art Gallery

Terrell in front of his metal artwork displayed at Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art Gallery, 621 Canyon Road, Santa Fe NM

Whimiscal Artwork to Brighten Your Day
Terrell Powell Art Pieces
Terrell Powell Artwork

Terrell Powell started drawing at the age of three—robots, cars, spaceships, imaginary things…Unlike many parents, his mother encouraged him and he went on to study art at the University of Texas in Austin, where he grew up.

He then joined an ad agency, becoming a commercial illustrator, but continuing to work on his own paintings at the same time. He would often include his own art in advertisements he was putting together and that caught the attention of Southwest Airlines, who happened to be one of the agency’s clients. They were so taken with his work that they commissioned him to paint some of their airplanes, including a special jet to commemorate the airline’s 25th anniversary. Some of those planes are still flying today.

Terrell did have art shows in local galleries and he toured the country doing shows and art fairs. That brought him into contact with folk artists, with whom he felt an immediate rapport. He had always been drawn to depicting scenes of nature—birds, animals and flowers in particular—and he became very involved with primitive art. That connection had a major influence on his work and is clearly evident in his images, which are a delightful combination of primitive and contemporary.

He had been coming to Santa Fe since the early 1980s, having fallen in love with it on a trip from Texas to Durango. “I was just blown away by the mountain views,” he recalls. “There are no mountains in Texas, just trees, and the views here are so vast. I was determined to come back, and I have been coming here ever since.”

While still based in Texas, Terrell had connected with galleries in Santa Fe and Taos, who began showing his work, and he finally succeeded in moving here with his family in 2018. He was glad to find a house with enough land to build a large studio, because, while still in Texas, he decided that he wanted to add to what he was doing and began making metal sculptures. He had taken a welding class in Texas, so since they started out small, he was able to put them together himself. People loved them and they just took off.

But they gradually grew bigger over time, necessitating the need for a professional welder, a partnership that continues to this day. Terrell designs the pieces, which the welder puts together in steel, and he then paints them. If intended to be placed outdoors, they are given a special, weather-resistant finish.

Some of Terrell’s paintings have evolved to become three-dimensional artworks as well, combining metal and paint on canvas, or wood panels. He favors bright colors and his paintings often include childlike images reminiscent of folk art, with universal appeal. He also likes to incorporate native American symbols which he often comes across on hiking trips, engraved on pieces of old pottery, or inscribed on rock.

He recently started experimenting with metal strips and whirls, both individual and in groups. Fashioned by his welder in different sizes, he paints them in a variety of different, brilliant colors and no two are ever the same. He uses acrylic and enamel paint, coated in resin, so they can be hung either inside or out and they are currently among his most popular items. Terrell is also open to accepting commissions.

Interested parties are welcome to set up an appointment, either by email or telephone, to visit his studio. Samples of his work can also be seen at Dominique Boisjoli Gallery on Canyon Road in Santa Fe, and Calliope Fine Art and Craft Gallery in Madrid.

Terrell Powell 512.826.1399

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