Yolanda Terrell said her love of painting began at age 7, as she was growing up in Philadelphia.
“When I was in second grade, I drew a picture of a deer running, and my art teacher, Mrs. Brown, was so impressed that she hung my art work up in front of the whole class,” she said.
Terrell, who moved to Riverside more than 33 years ago, remembers being so proud that day. Later, her teacher would pull her to the side and hand her a paint brush, wanting to know if she could paint as well as she could draw.
“Needless to say, not only did she see I could paint, but she played a pivotal role in my career as an artist,” Terrell said. “I have not put the paint brush down since then and, I have continued to pursue my passion to paint.”
Three years later at age 10, Terrell made her first sale, a painting of Charlie Chaplin. At 15 she had an exhibit at a Philadelphia community center. She counts these as being among her favorite achievements in the arts, along with being able to continue creating and selling her work over the years.
Terrell described her artist style as “colorful impressionistic and American modernist with a folk style and a unique palette knife technique.”
“My paintings reveal the many facets of me as an artist,” she said.
Although she has taken art courses throughout the years as a means of perfecting her passion and technique, Terrell said she is largely self-taught.
“I love creating art but yet I am humble in knowing each time I paint it makes me new again,” she said.
As Terrell was growing up, the arts were a way of expressing herself without speaking. They allowed her to show feelings without verbally sharing her emotions. The arts are something that she believes can bring a community together.
“Every painting means something different to each and every person,” she said. “That’s the joy of the arts. I’m so happy to be part of the adventure of helping people see the beauty in the arts.”
Terrell is one of the artists participating in the upcoming Riverside Art Market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 9 in downtown Riverside’s historic White Park, at the corner of 9th and Market streets. Organized as a fundraiser by the Art Alliance of the Riverside Art Museum, the Riverside Art Market is returning after a two year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“As a local to Riverside, I’m proud to support, participate and represent the Riverside Art Museum,” she said. “I love how they support our local artists and give them the platform they truly deserve.”
Information on Yolanda Terrell: https://artbylandy.com.
Patrick Brien is executive director of the Riverside Arts Council.