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Terry Crimmen
Poster Boy, and More

By Amelia Smith

Terry Crimmen was happy when he started selling enough paintings to pay for his art supplies. He went to an arts high school in Florida, then went to work as a commercial artist. He landed on the Vineyard in the 1990s, and although he's been painting ever since, most of that has been house painting. When he turned to oil paintings again a few years ago he saw it as a hobby but since then,
it's grown.

Terry is inspired by artists Edward Hopper, Norman Rockwell, and other American painters of the 1950s, but he says that seeing local artists here on the Island got him going again. “Alan Whiting, Max Decker, and Dan [VanLandingham] have a particular look, a lot of their paintings.” It's the light here: “No matter where you go, there's different light. You have to paint everything that's out here, everywhere you look.”

Last fall, he and his long-time girlfriend, Tara Kenny, got together with two other artists to rent studio space. “You can just walk in here and everything is always ready,” he says. This allowed him to start working on bigger canvases, and inexorably, the art has moved closer to the middle of his work life, becoming more than just a hobby which pays for itself.

This will be Terry's third season showing art on the island. He started at Seaworthy gallery in Vineyard Haven, next door to his current studio and gallery space at The Workshop. He also shows at PikNik Art and Apparel in
Edgartown, and credits curator Michael Hunter with helping him develop as a painter. “I'd be lost without Michael,” Terry says. “Michael will come through and say, 'This is working, this is not,' and I take his advice very seriously.”

He still doesn't aspire to become a full-time artist. “I'm pretty happy with the way everything is,” Terry says. “This is pretty good.”