Terri Hallmanwas born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, a small town west of Milwaukee. She had a childhood fascination with the shape of things, reproducing them and then recreating their surfaces. She recalls that drawing was a continuous part of her daily routine. After graduating high school Hallman attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree, specializing in Design. While still in school Hallman began working as a product designer. Her work in this field won numerous international awards.
Hallman enjoyed visiting the local galleries and museums in Milwaukee as she continued her drawing and painting. When she felt she had enough pieces worth exhibiting she went out in search of a gallery. Interest in her work was immediate and she chose to exhibit her work in the then popular MC Gallery. Traveling around the world remains a great love of Hallman. She spent a number of years living in San Diego, California where she explored a variety of creative opportunities. After a short stay in Lafayette, Louisiana she settled in Houston, Texas. Overall, she likes the South for its easy and friendly culture.
For Hallman, her art is in the process itself, which she regards as the essence of her work. On the surface, the work may appear simple, yet there is considerable emotional depth inherent in the artists multi-layered approach. It is layers, she says, that expose the passage of time. How some things are covered up and how others are revealed. Each completed work possesses a unique history, in which the layers represent the way things were and the finished piece defines the ways things are.
Hallman begins her works with stick figure drawings on paper. The loose and somewhat abstract forms act as a matrix for the composition. She then begins the process of rubbing dry pigment (by hand) into the paper. Between the layers she masks off sections with tape and scrapes away others. She describes the process of removing tape and unmasking areas as being similar to revealing and discovering the nature of the subject. The creative pace is intense; the result is super-saturated hues and curiously crude textures.
Hallman employs symbolic elements in her works assigning meanings to simple objects. A pea depicts nothingness while a horse epitomizes freedom. One familiar element in her works is a bird, perched on a shoulder, representing the trusted companion. Hallman is an extraordinarily driven and innovative artist. There is a constant audience for her work that keeps her busy creating full-time. Her work is widely collected and featured in galleries throughout Canada, Great Britain and the USA