MUM alumnus Terrell Smith

Untitled by Terrell Smith

With fellow MUM art students

Untitled by Terrell Smith

MUM graduate Terrell Smith started his MFA in painting program this fall at the University of Iowa with a full scholarship. He graduated in 2016 with a BFA degree from MUM and applied to six different graduate programs. He was accepted to all of them, but after visiting the University of Iowa art department he needed to look no further.

“My source of achievement is looking for something that stretches my boundaries,” said Terrell. “As long as I am able to grow and learn and pass that on to somebody, I have achieved that goal. I felt that this program was going to do that for me.”

Terrell grew up in Florida and started working for the large retailer Costco at 18. For ten years he moved around the country and up the corporate ladder. Although he was successful, had a stable income, and a comfortable lifestyle, he felt he wasn’t growing. His girlfriend came to MUM first and easily convinced Terrell to follow.

He first signed up to be a pre-med major, but after taking a drawing class he discovered his passion. He has always been a visual learner and enjoyed expressing himself through imagery. Soon he fully immersed himself in creating art, participated in student life, and began helping other students with their art work.

“TM has changed my thinking a lot,” he said. “It made me understand life, my role in life, and my role as an artist. I have been able to really work on ideas that I want to push in my work. I am able to articulate what I want to say because I have confidence in myself.”

“Terrell is uniquely curious and always comes up with surprising, yet studied, results in his paintings,” said James Shrosbree, professor of art.

Terrell feels he has experienced a thorough transformation at MUM, enjoyed every minute of it, and “blossomed” along the way. He wants to continue expressing himself through art and teach others to do the same.


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