Terry Svat- ART CART Oral Histories

Svat, Terry; Pedersen, Kelly; Research Center for Arts and Culture

Printmaker, Terry Svat was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Upon graduating with a BFA from Kent State University, Terry married and worked as a commercial artist in Ohio, Minnesota, and the Washington, D.C. area. After the birth of their second child the family began living and working abroad. Terry studied, taught, and worked in art related fields in the former Soviet Union, Chile, Argentina, Panama and Germany. During this time, she experienced the many diverse cultures that were reflected in her work.
Her one-person shows were exhibited in Santiago, Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Panama City, Panama; Munich, Germany; and Leningrad, USSR. Returning regularly to the United States allowed Terry to remain current with art trends and to maintain relations with diverse organizations and galleries. She has shown in numerous galleries throughout the States. Her works are held in National Museum of Women in the Arts; Smithsonian Museum of Natural History; Museo de Arte in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC; Ratner Museum in Bethesda, MD; State Museum of Majdanch, Lubin, Poland; Frans Maserell Archives, Frans Maserell Zentrum, Kasterlee, Belgium; Archives of Flemish Museum of Fine Art, Antwerp, Belgium; Library of Congress Print Collection.

In her work, Terry uses various forms of traditional and experimental etching; Zinc, Copper, Plexiglas, Linocut, Solar Plate, ImagOn, pastel transfer, and other forms of printing to compliment her exploration. Found materials are incorporated into handmade paper, which is made from recycled prints. Over the years, Terry’s work has reflected the numerous ways in which people and societies have left their marks on civilizations through images, symbols, and monuments that can speak to other societies and other times.
Some of the images she has explored are Huacas from Pre-Columbian period, symbols and images of Stonehenge and Machu Picchu, the significance of the Berlin Wall and its demise, Apartheid and its struggles, and our own Vietnam Wall. Her works are more of an inquiry into the efforts of mark markers in other societies, while encouraging an interaction with the viewer and current life forces.
Growing up in the Midwest, working, living in many foreign countries, and working as an art therapist in Washington, D.C. contributed to opening Terry’s mind to understanding more fully these connections.
Currently she is using small canvases and fragments of prints from past series, to begin conversations on canvas. Here Terry wants her work to convey a sense of connectivity, a flow of past to the present and back again. Rebirth!

This oral history discusses Terry’s life history as related to her artwork. It gives a description of her work’s influences and how spending much of her adult life traveling and living abroad has changed her work process and her worldview.
Her web site is www.terrysvat/
Keywords: Russia, USSR, Santiago, Chile, Argentina, Germany, Moscow, Munich, printmaking, printing, press, huacha, generations, wall, Cleveland, Washington D.C., Art Therapy, Graduate School, Kent State, George Washington University, Target, Cleveland Art Museum, Berlin Wall, Woodward and Lothrop, Alex Russo, D.C. Color School, Allende, Panama City, Panama.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Research Center for Arts and Culture
Art Cart Collection
Published Here
November 30, 2016


For more information about the ART CART project, please visit their website: