Benjamin Terry

Senior lecturer in the Department of Art and Art History

artwork by Benjamin Terry
Wish You Were Here


Benjamin Terry is finding inspiration in surprising places these days. Settling into early marriage, new homeownership, and work as a represented artist with Galleri Urbane in Dallas, he is fueling his creativity through the trappings of domestic life.

“All of these life milestones have created new moments of stability and permanence in my life, and I have been thinking a lot more about my own domestication,” he says. “I find myself wanting to make paintings about microclover ground cover, about the honeymoon we still haven’t taken, flagstone pavers, golden hour, and the bees and butterflies working hard in our flowerbed.”

Even in sad or quiet paintings, there is joy to be found in understanding.

In many ways, this evolution in creativity and focus comes naturally for Terry, who began creating art at an early age. As his art has grown over the years, from figurative and narratively structured work in graduate school to more abstract and nontraditional constructions later, he has maintained a throughline in his creative expression—what he describes as “attentiveness to tedious craft and skill, clashing with a component of nonchalance and incidental mark-making.”

“I’m a problem-solver, and I like puzzles,” he says. “Art has always felt like a puzzle to me, and it’s a game that keeps changing—in my own studio, in the gallery, and in the classroom. As long as it’s fun to play the game, I’ll keep playing.”

The end result to all the puzzle-solving? Terry hopes the takeaway from his paintings is joy.

“Even in sad or quiet paintings, there is joy to be found in understanding,” he says. “Retracing someone’s thoughts and hands through the art they make, feeling some connection, and having that unspoken dialogue can be one of the most satisfying and joyful experiences.”


artwork by Benjamin Terry
left to right: Happy for U, Staring at the Sun, Untitled (Black)


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