Terry Svat was born in Cleveland, Ohio. At an early age, her parents noted her interest in art and encouraged her to enroll in art classes at The Cleveland Museum of Art, which just happened to be close by. The classes took place in various rooms through out the museum. In college at Kent State University while studying fine art, Terry took a course in printmaking and fell in love with the medium. Although she painted for some years, printmaking was always her fall back.

Self-portrait of artist

In later life as she was gathering and cataloging her art she realized what a profound effect those classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art had
on her own artwork.

When her own family began living and working abroad, she studied, taught, and worked in many art related fields in the former Soviet Union, Chile, Argentina, Panama and Germany. For twelve years abroad, she was exposed to the cultural currents in Russia, Latin America and Europe.

Terry produced, exhibited and sold her work in most of the countries in which she lived.

Her one-person shows were in Santiago, Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Panama City, Panama; and both Munich and Starnberg, Germany. Returning regularly to the United States allowed her to remain current with art trends and to maintain relations with various organizations and galleries. Some of her one person exhibits were in Cleveland, Ohio, Washington, DC. and Raleigh, No. Carolina.

Upon returning to the U.S. in the 90s, she received an MA in Art Therapy from George Washington University. She worked as an art therapist and taught in the program at the University. Through most of these years she worked at the Graphics Workshop in Silver Spring MD and she is the co-founder of the original Washington Printmakers Gallery now in Georgetown.

Over the past 30 some years, Terry’s art has been influenced by the various ways in which people and societies not only leave their mark on their civilizations but also provide a legacy of images, symbols, and monuments that can speak to other societies and other times. Because she had the opportunity to live and travel abroad, Terry was able to study some of the symbols and images of those places.

She explored huacas from the Pre-Columbian period, symbols and images of Stonehenge and of Machu Picchu, the significance of the Berlin Wall and its demise, Apartheid, and our own Vietnam Wall. Her works are more of an inquiry into the efforts of mark markers in other societies, while trying to encourage an interaction with the life forces of today.

Working as an art therapist has opened her mind to understanding more fully these connections. Terry wants her work to convey a sense of connectivity, a flow from past to present and back again.

Today Terry lives and works in Vienna, Virginia with her husband Jerry. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her daughter Laura and her grandchildren, August and Elise