“Why Here?”

On July 11, the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) held a panel discussion with Wisconsin 30 artists to respond to the question, “Why Here?” Reginald Baylor, Sonji Hunt, Anwar Floyd-Pruitt, Mikal Floyd-Pruitt, Evelyn Patricia Terry, and via video Tyanna Blue discussed the question in reference to their choice to live and work in Wisconsin.

I asked friend and fellow artist, Evelyn Patricia Terry, to share her thoughts. Here’s a summary of what she said…

“For the panel, “Why Here?” I had only one sentence that I was committed to, “Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.” With a 40-year stash of something to say about art and 67 years of something to say about living in Milwaukee, “Why here” is a piece of cake. I echoed another panelist, Tyanna Buie with, “Why not here?” After traveling as much as I could…because one can work from anywhere as an artist…I decided to stop wasting time on that aspect of my life and do what I really wanted to do. I am an artist. At this time, I can do art here. My goal to accomplish my art being everywhere began years ago and continues.

I have traveled as much as I needed to get information about finding a better place to live. I went to Russia and when I arrived they told me to stand in the corner as the other passengers went in. I went to Brazil (with an artists’ group) and the women were disregarded terribly. I went to California and did not care for the earthquakes. I visited New York and, of course, did not care for it. I live on 18th and Wright and the streets are cleaner.

My exhibited artwork, “Magic is Dream Stacking” reflects my propensity to stack dreams/goals and work toward their achievement. Another goal is to get my artwork into the right collection.”

I agree with Evelyn. Where I live doesn’t limit where my art is exhibited or sold. When my artwork finds itself in a place where I am not, I admit I do have mixed feelings—my art is an extension of me since it has come from me and sometimes it’s hard to let go. At the same time, though, I’m sharing my passion; what I need to say.