Over a thirty-year career, the artistic versatility of Terry Medaris
has evolved from the graphic arts to the contemporary paintings of Native
American images which have been featured in several fine art galleries of the Southwest.
Launched on his art career by a third grade teacher who recognized Medaris'
innate artistic talent, he went on to study commercial art in Los Angeles
and at the University of Arizona. Following his years as Senior Illustrator
with Hughes Aircraft in Tucson, and later as a book illustrator for HP
Books and other publishers, Medaris began to devote his life to his own
In addition to painting and drawing, he has worked with sculpture, metal,
jewelry, and computer graphics, using traditional southwestern motifs.
Medaris' designs can be seen on ceramics and pottery, giftware, and greeting
cards. He has produced art in a number of mediums, including pen and ink,
oils, pastels, acrylics, and gouache.
Medaris has served as an art instructor for Tucson Museum of Art and taught art at Pima Community College for 15 years. His paintings
have been exhibited at major galleries in Tucson, Tubac, and Sedona.
Inspired by the relationship of nature to the character of indigenous
American people of the Southwest, Medaris has researched their culture,
history, costumes, and icons. He has studied the meaning of their traditional
symbols, as well as the significance of time and mysticism in the Native
In his quest for authenticity, the Tucson-based Medaris employs bold,
intricate design and striking color contrasts to bring forth the strength,
spirit, and dignity of his Native American subjects. Each subject in Medaris'
paintings has a voice that speaks through haunting eyes. Perhaps the message
of these Native American is the same today as it has always been.