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The Terra Foundation for American Art is dedicated to fostering exploration, understanding, and enjoyment of the visual arts of the United States for national and international audiences. Recognizing the importance of experiencing original works of art, the foundation provides opportunities for interaction and study, beginning with the presentation and growth of its own art collection in Chicago. To further cross-cultural dialogue on American art, the foundation supports and collaborates on innovative exhibitions, research, and educational programs. Implicit in such activities is the belief that art has the potential both to distinguish cultures and to unite them.
The Terra Foundation for American Art was established in 1978 by businessman and art collector Daniel J. Terra (1911–1996) who believed that the art of the United States is a dynamic and powerful expression of the nation’s history and identity. The governing mission of the foundation remains to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of historical American art through acquisition, exhibition, interpretation, and scholarship.
The Terra Foundation has generously provided the Festival with a multiyear grant to produce an annual lecture series. Now, with additional support from the Terra Foundation, these art history presentations are available online. These talks provide free and open access to the enriching ideas garnered from the immense breadth of the history of American art.
INSA was born in the United Kingdom and began painting at the age of 12. Prior to this age, he made low, low budget horror films with his friends, and even counts Nightmare on Elm Street’s monstrous Freddie Krueger among his creative influences. The artist is distinguished by the seamless mix of reality and fantasy apparent in all his work. His art is always changing, to the surprise and excitement of his viewers.
INSA’s Philosophy of Life and Art
His strong opinions regarding popular culture and consumerism are what his art is all about. INSA wants to be known through his art, not by any personal characteristics. He keeps his private life very private, but is most willing to talk about his life and thoughts as an artist. This shrouded identity keeps others from pretending to be like him and allows his viewers to conjure up their own image of who INSA is and what he looks like. He may be of any race, age or physiognomy. In INSA’s view, whatever the viewer imagines, that is what the artist looks like. The one thing he does want his audience to understand about him is his belief that fantasy is always better than reality.
INSA studied art at Goldsmiths as a young man and earned a degree in Design. Goldsmiths also gave the artist an excuse to move to London and paint the London streets.