Showcasing the Arts


Feb. 2014 Featured Artist: Michael Terra


Michael Terra in his 
    Terra Cottage studio.What an amazing world we live in. We are surrounded by things, both insubstantial and solid, that move us, shape us and keep us delighted, engaged and mystified!

I do a funny thing in my work — I make something solid, then make something out of words and combine them into something new.

As a sculptor, I see the world as an unending story layered in meaning and implication, shadow and light, which I can tweak and refine into a concise thought. If I have done my job well, you can't see everything at once or even from any one angle. The sculpture continues to have a life in your imagination beyond the first glance.

As an author, I get to play with the most insubstantial, yet durable, toys that man has ever created — words. Words made from 26 simple shapes that can be continuously recycled into an infinite variety of meanings. Words have no substance of their own, yet have enormous power.

As humans we are, by our very own nature, storytellers. It's the most basic way that we teach each other and leave a durable truth that our future can rely on. Telling a child that the stove is hot might not stop them from touching it; yet telling the story about the burn you got as a child will. Facts inform us while stories teach us. As a poet, if I have done my job well, the story that I leave you with is your own — not mine.

My work varies enormously from large-scale public art pieces to small intimate sculptures. It is always layered in a way that the slower you look, the more you see. I have what may be called an "unfortunate" sense of humor, and much of what I do has puns and word play wrapped up in the package.

I have work in galleries all over the country. My wife, Victoria, and I exhibit at 25 to 30 art shows in any given year. Our travels take us from Seattle, Wash. to New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pa., Fairhope, Ala. and many points between.

Michael Terra
Paducah, Ky.

Telephone: 270-908-0090


Page last updated: January 7, 2019
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