Terry Norman Turrell Biography

Terry Norman Turrell




Terry Norman Turrell, sculptor and painter, is a self-taught artist who was born on November 4, 1946, in Spokane, Washington. He was raised in Washington state and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. At eight years old, he contracted a mild case of polio and during his illness and recovery he began to draw and create toys from various scraps from his father's auto wrecking yard.

Turrell went to San Francisco in the late 1960s and while there supported himself by making leather handbags and batik wall hangings. He returned to Seattle in the 1970s and started a business producing hand painted T-shirts which he sold at Pike Place market. He eventually explored other means of expression and in 1986 he began producing his art, often employing recycled materials. Turrell was discovered by a Seattle art gallery owner who presented him as an outsider artist. Today his works are handled by a number of galleries and he has exhibited at the prestigious New York Outside Art Fair as well as at the American Primitive Gallery in New York. Turrell was included in the Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia of 20th Century American Folk Art and Artists.

Turrell's work was included in numerous solo and group exhibitions across the United States as well as in Canada and France. Collections holding his work included the American Visionary Museum, the Boise Art Museum, the House of Blues, and the Microsoft Corporation.