Best Visual Artist

27.87% Terry Ratliff*
24.14% Mee Kuyng Shim*
20.69% Tim Brumbeloe*
11.49% Fred Doloresco*
1.44% Tim Johnson
1.15% Kim Waldschmidt

Others with Votes (more than one):
David Bohnke, Diane Gronert, e4, Erin Patton, Jeremy Selzer, Julia Meek, Laura Mettert, Nathan Able, Paul Demaree, Tom Keesee, Tony Byrd, Tracy Row

2002 Winner: Terry Ratliff
2001 Winner: Terry Ratliff
2000 Winner: Terry Ratliff
1999 Winner: Terry Ratliff
1998 Winner: n/a
1997 Winner: n/a

Terry Ratliff

What does one say about a dynasty? For five years in a row Terry Ratliff has captured the Whammy as Best Visual Artist.

It's not that he hasn't been pressured by the likes of Tom Keesee, Mee Kyung Shim, Fred Doloresco and Tim Brumbeloe or, by his own admission, Michael Poorman and David Krouse among others.

"Just because I'm voted Best Visual Artist doesn't mean I'm 'the best' or as good as I could be," said Ratliff upon learning of the win. "An art preference is not an art judgment."

A Franklin College graduate in Fine Arts in 1989, Ratliff worked in a variety of jobs, including a stint at a framery, before he began to explore his own innate talents. Time spent in Italy and France later on spurred development of his own voice and he's progressed ever since.

Whether as a portrait painter (an avocation he's left behind for the most part), a stage designer (he's still exploring), a Picasso copyist (the judgment from some other, perhaps envious artists) or an all-over-the-place painter, the 38-year-old Ratliff has certainly enamored himself to the legion of whatzup voters and art collectors.

His work, displayed all over town via the Casaburo restaurants and several private collectors has been featured at the Castle Gallery, Artlink, Henry's and, most recently, at the Avant Garde Gallery, which now houses his studio. He has just finished 22 painting for the new Casa restaurant on Stellhorn and Maplecrest and recently received a commission to do murals at the Fort Wayne International Airport, a project sponsored by local businesses.

As reported in last year's Whammy Award issue of whatzup, Ratliff confesses, "My subject matter and form come to me as I attempt to express, symbolize or draw what I'm feeling. My work isn't so much about what I intend, but more like what I feel. And that changes. If I had to do just still lifes or portraits or whatever, I simply couldn't do it for long, I crave change."

* On the ballot

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