Star Artist: Terry Hildebrand

From wooden cutouts to oil paintings and watercolors, Terry Hildebrand’s work expresses a life of appreciation.

Terry Hildebrand’s interest in art began when he was in the army in his 20s, starting out with realistic pencil drawings. Hildebrand later used the GI Bill to study art, first at University of Wisconsin–River Falls, then at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield, Mich. His painting major and sculpting minor have heavily shaped the way he works to this day.

Hildebrand says that his acrylic and water color paintings have “textural, sculptural and spatial characteristics that play with space and form in an exciting way.”
“My paintings are reflections on the landscape and people of St. Croix Valley,” he says. As a Taylors Falls, Minn., resident, Hildebrand has done lots of work depicting his town. One series titled Walking the Dog shows his pet, Scuppers, in different places around town. He also enjoys working on larger, months-long projects that “focus on daily painting and sculptural wall pieces,” he says. He has also based some pieces on sailing Lake Superior, a hobby of his for the past 20 years.

Hildebrand’s work is frequently featured at Taylors Falls’ Coffee Talk. In a portrait project for Taylors Falls in 2012, Hildebrand photographed people in town and “painted them full figure in oil, cut them out of the wood they were painted on, and hid them in different locations around Taylors Falls and the St. Croix Valley.” Hildebrand provided clues online and painted maps so figures could be found and brought back to the exhibit space, where participants could watch the collection grow little by little.