FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Perhaps Fort Wayne is nowhere more colorful than 1124 Broadway.
The exterior is plain but inside the Terry Ratliff studio – ah, magic.
“It’s called abstract expressionism or German Expressionism,” Ratliff says of his signature style. “You put your emotions down through the colors. You make things vibrant.”
His current project was commissioned by Doug Leonard with ANAB, a company with five locations nationwide. Ratliff met Leonard years earlier.
“I attended a Special Olympics fundraiser where I painted Soldier Field for Mike Ditka, because he was the keynote speaker,” Ratliff explains. “Well the Vice President of this company (Leonard) was at the table. Years later, when he was thinking about renovating all of his offices, he got a hold of me and we talked about doing cityscapes for each office around the United States,”
Those five cities? Milwaukee, Raleigh,, Washington DC, New York City, and Fort Wayne.
The Northside grad says painting the city he knows best was the most difficult.
“I’ve never really studied the Raleigh skyline before so I painted what I saw. Sometimes when we recognize something, we’re predisposed to be able to draw it like we think it is. It can be tricky when you know what something looks like.
“If that makes sense.”