Avalon Park Wesley Chapel is a community of over 1,500 residents that has attracted people from around the world, many with unique artistic gifts who enjoy sharing their talents with their neighbors.
Richard Terrill is such a resident. He is an accomplished contemporary painter, whose work was exhibited and sold in the museum shop at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.
Terrill’s paintings are colorful, unconventional and political – work that you would not initially expect from someone who taught high school and college English for 39 years. But, after talking with the artist for a few minutes, you quickly realize that Terrill is also a knowledgeable historian, who artistically incorporates his world view points into his paintings.
Terrill’s work draws you in with his bright colors, high contrasts and whimsical tangents. And, as you admire his visionary style, you begin to see the political and historical context most of Terrill’s paintings explore.
“I like to use bright colors because they uplift the often serious and somber content of my paintings,” said Terrill. “And, I often add whimsical scenes into my paintings that poke fun at the seriousness of the human psyche.”
A large portrait of Rumi, the celebrated Persian poet from the 13th century, dominates the artist’s studio in his Avalon Park home. Another bold painting is one of Terrill’s newest works, which he calls “Duende” — a Spanish word for a heightened state of emotion and expression.
Unlike almost every other artist, Terrill never signs his name on his paintings.
“I believe that the signature is the painting itself,” explains Terrill. “To put a signature on a painting takes away from the painting. If a buyer insists that I sign their painting, I will sign the backside of the pressed wood that I use as my canvas.”
Most of Terrill’s collectors are other artists, scientists, engineers and psychiatrists, who tell him that they like the deep thinking and intricate detail that goes into his work.
Terrill works on his art every day. “Even if I’m not actually painting, I am always thinking about the piece I am working on,” he said.
Terrill is looking forward to exhibiting his paintings at the Avalon Park Art Gallery located at the community’s Welcome Center on State Road 54, and also at the new Arts Center being built in downtown Avalon Park, when it opens.
“My wife and I love living in Avalon Park — our home is beautiful, there is so much to do, and everyone is so friendly and helpful,” said Terrill. “That it is also such a pro-art community is a big bonus, and something that makes me very happy.”
He also hopes to teach again. His experience is exceptionally broad, and includes working at an all-girl, inner-city school in Baltimore in the 1970s, and later in his career as an English professor at a community college and university in Maryland, and also teaching inmates in medium and maximum security prisons.
Avalon Park Wesley Chapel and the Pasco Fine Arts Council work together to bring arts and cultural events to East Pasco County. One of the main goals of this partnership is to introduce people to local artists like Terrill, with monthly exhibits and demonstrations.
“It is our vision that downtown Avalon Park Wesley Chapel will be the cultural and event center for East Pasco County,” said Stephanie Lerret, senior vice president of the Avalon Park Group. “It is exciting to discover artists like Richard Terrill who already live in our community, and are willing to share their great talent with their neighbors.”
Are You An Artist?
We want to profile artists who live in Avalon Park Wesley Chapel. Please let us know about your talents, or those of a friend or neighbor, by emailing .
Published December 25, 2019
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