Milwaukee woman bringing art to the heart of the city

It's a festival for the eyes in the heart of an often underserved neighborhood.

The neighborhood near 18th and Wright in Milwaukee is often known more for its challenges that its positive attributes. But ensconced in the urban backdrop is an artist's gem.

"I love where I live!" said Evelyn Patricia Terry. 

She founded the "Terry McCormick Contemporary Fine and Folk Art Gallery.

"Usually when you say 18th and Wright people say wow, are they shooting someone today?" she said.

But cross the threshold and visitors witness beauty and tranquility.

"When people walk in here, they're like wow...what is all this, how did this get here..this is amazing." Terry shares.

She admits, that as a youngster she never thought art could be a profession.

"I had a teacher at UWM and she said Evelyn I think you're an artist. I said my mother would kill me if I came home and said something about going to school and do art,” she said. "People would say you have to have something to fall back on, I would say nope I can't have anything else because I will fall back on it."

For Terry, art was an escape after a sometimes difficult childhood.

"My mother took care of us really well, but she would whoop you-- something that wasn't necessary to me. I learned later that whipping people was not the right way to teach communication…,” she said. "My father maybe he drank all the time and gambled and he didn't talk to us."

But self-help books and creative forces helped Terry draw new ways of positive thinking. From her garden she discovers another joy. It's a journey that has unearthed wisdom.

"You know how you want to change everybody? Eventually I learned I had to change myself,” she said laughing. "The sign on my door that says be nice or leave, I mean it."

Terry's gallery needs a new roof and she's trying to raise funds. If you would like to help click on this link.


Print this article Back to Top