For years in Louisville, I saw the collages of Teri Dryden, and was riveted by her uncanny ability to place together every piece of torn paper to create a perfectly unified field of incongruent, yet visually connected torn scraps. Her collages vibrate with decisively placed color and shape. Symphonies of seemingly random, yet innately balanced pieces of torn edges, rough contrasting pigments and typography sing a hallelujah chorus of undeniable strength and boldness.
“i plunge into each piece of work as if it were an adventure into the unknown. with no specific outcome in mind, i respond to the changes in the picture as i explore and interact with materials by layering paint and paper, scratching, sanding and marking, creating open spaces, altering and adjusting,” Teri says.
“i move between intuition and logic; chaos and order. being aware and open, taking risks with the materials, as well as the struggle itself allows me to be in the moment to reflect and interpret a history that evolves on the canvas before my eyes.
Teri Dryden’s unorthodox path to becoming an artist began with immersion in an ancient art form in which she, herself was the medium. A theatre major at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland, she excelled in physical expression and comedy. At the urging of an instructor, she auditioned and won a coveted spot as one of the few female clowns in the Ringling Brothers’ Barnum and Bailey Circus. For two unforgettable years, she performed in every state in the U.S. in one of the most colorful and visually stimulating environments imaginable.
She then moved to Los Angeles and became an award-winning stage actress, but left the stage when her first child was born. After making beautiful fiber art for several years, Teri decided to take an art class, and discovered a latent talent and passion for painting and drawing. During a remarkably short and prolific period, she won several awards and sold dozens of paintings and drawings to rapt fans who recognized her unique sense of composition and color in dramatic florals and still-lives. She feels she has found her true aesthetic after discovering the fascinating world of mixed media and collage.
She is a member of the collage artists of America, National Collage Society and Women Painters West. Her work is included in many private and public collections and has been exhibited in numerous solo, group and juried exhibitions across the country.