Each year HAM awards the prize of a solo show to one artist in the Members Exhibition. In 2019 the juror of the Members Exhibition, Pedro Barbeito, Assistant Professor of Art and Director of Lafayette College’s Experimental Printmaking Institute, chose Terri Fraser.
Terri, a painter, works primarily in oil, but has also worked in watercolor, encaustic and three dimensions. Her work, which is built on grids and circles, recently pivoted from landscapes to abstraction. In her landscapes, grids and circles were, as Terri states, “a grounding force”. Sometimes they were visible, sometimes just faintly seen under the surface. The landscape, a familiar and loved environment, was the focus.
Then the pandemic came and Terri’s outlook changed. She gave herself permission to let go of the identifiable landscape and explore memories, feelings, and places. In this exhibition, one can see that transition. The pair of paintings, Left Side of the Moon and Right Side of the Moon, were made in 2018 and were intended to be the underpainting for two landscapes. When Terri returned to them during the pandemic, she saw them as finished works.
The grid has become the constant in her work. Rose and Sink from 2020 take the grid center stage, combining it with ribbon like circles. With Heartbeat, the grid blends with faceted shapes that energize the space, and with Jump, a series of nine paintings, the grid becomes the actual structure.
Verdant, a drawing using colored pencil and alcohol ink, hanging behind the first floor lobby desk, shows another side of Terri’s work. The loose brushwork gives way to tighter, more controlled forms. Once again, abstraction and landscape combine, but this time in a work that is reminiscent of an aerial view of a garden.
Terri holds a BFA from Ohio Wesleyan University.
Marjorie Frankel Nathanson