PROFILE - Spring 2017


A life- long professional artist, and a fun loving musician, Terry Golletz says he is still learning from his grand-daughter.

As a fine, abstract artist, Terry spends eight to ten hours a day in his studio, and may spend 300 hours on one painting, producing maybe ten paintings a year.

In 2016 Terry was invited to have work in the publication Current Mastery II-2016, a USA annual art book dedicated to "introducing remarkable art by established and up-coming artists from around the world." With 20 solo shows and many group exhibitions to his credit, his work is gaining recognition. He is represented at the Ben Navaee Gallery in Toronto.

The walls of the home he shares with his wife Lynda in Elora are hung with images from many periods of his productive life. He refers to his work as a Surrealist marriage of Abstraction and Organic Form - a happier, more playful side of surrealism. Precise and detailed, the unified compositions of colour and non-representational imagery derive their source from the natural world. His work finds great appreciation for its unique style, at once cerebral and compelling.

Hung on a far wall of the living room are small framed ink-wash drawings of models and nudes, accurate shorthand studies with softly coloured bleeding lines. Terry says he has counted three thousand of these sketches, stacked in his studio. In the early '70s he was one of the fortunate group who frequented Corbett Gray's studio on Mill Street, Elora, drawing live models. Of the apparent ease of these enviably, impressionistic sketches Terry says, "I just follow the line."

There are also fine pencil as well as ink drawings, producing three dimensional depths, The subject may be a simple root from the garden, interpreted with infinite care. "Art has a lot of aspects. Detail is important to me."

Terry brings two basic approaches to a new piece: - scenic and object. Starting with an abstract or geometric form, he decides on size,and colours. The first brushstrokes put down on canvas or paper are emotional; what evolves from there calls on technique, skill level and decisions to take risks, "My concern is in creating a unified composition of colour and form which allows maximum participation of the observer in the art work, allowing viewers to look inward to themselves, to create with their own imaginations."

Born in Kitchener, Terry was raised in Preston. His early studies at University of Waterloo were In the field of Eastern Religions. After some years of travel and artistic exploration, he attended the Ontario College of Art, graduating in 1981, and finished a Fine Arts Major at University of Guelph.

When studying art at OCA in the early '80s, Terry was directed to the Royal Ontario Museum. where close to 3,000 exceptional specimens of minerals, gems, meteorites and rocks represent a collection that rates among the finest in North America. The impact of this study of organic forms has been at the base of Terry's years of artistic exploration. Rocks and vegetal forms merge with subconscious images and chance marks to produce works of conscious and unconscious activity.

In 1987-89 Terry was employed at the Wellington County Museum as Designer and Preparator. We owe the beautiful log cabin display at the Museum to him. He was also Chair of the Insights Exhibition from 1986 to1988.

In 1991, Terry's life took a different direction when he graduated with a Bachelor of Education from Queen's University. He taught Communications Technology and Art to high school students. But computer art, which can be copied and multiplied does not appeal to him. He prefers to express images through completely independent means, discounting any attraction of print making and other technologies. In 2011 Terry retired from teaching to pursue his love of art and music fulltime.

In his basement studio, tubes of acrylics await his creative transformations. Each painting has its own evolution, In his early work Terry used conte crayons with watercolour, but now he favours the broad range and transparency of acrylics. Each time his young granddaughter visits, they go down to his studio and share a lesson in art. Whether in art or in playing the mandolin or guitar, Terry says he learns much from her fresh approach. He is reminded that, "through the unique personality the subject moves from reproduction into art."


Tuesday nights at the Café Creperie on Mill Street, Elora, Terry can be be found leading a group of folky-based musicians, playing one of his five mandolins. He has been experimenting with banjo, mandolin and guitar since he was twelve years old, but mandolin is best for the open-ended acoustic jam sessions which began at the Copper Kettle in Fergus sixteen years ago. On a recent night there were sixteen players at the Creperie. Terry has become the welcoming host of this musical gathering

There is joy in playing and singing with other musicians. The comaraderie is a contrast to the solitary life of a painter. Sometimes Terry writes songs, and he is always adding to his wide repertoire. While music might have been a career for him, he would have frequently been on the road, a difficult lifestyle to combine with dedication to his family. Early on he made the choice, Some stage yearnings get fulfilled through playing mandolin in a traditional Ukrainian folk ensemble, Zubrivka, which Terry was invited to join. At the annual Ukrainian Festival Terry performs with the group on an outdoor stage to huge audiences. It's an exhilerating experience to celebrate folk music with them at the biggest Ukrainian festival in Canada, capturing the spirit of the old world while adding a distinctly Ukrainian-Canadian flavour to their harmonies.

Interview by Beverley Cairns




is the Newsletter of the Elora Arts Council, published quarterly since 1985

Each publication features an artist living in the area of Centre Wellington.

127 Profiles have been published.

In 2005 the book Profiles was published featuring 75 artists from every artistic discipline.




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